November 15, 2011 |
MILWAUKEE - As Ruben Amaro Jr. unveiled his latest prize 900 miles to the east, baseball's general managers trickled into this city for their first face-to-face contact of the winter. Amaro soon joined them in this charming Midwest city, but only after awarding the largest-ever deal for a relief pitcher. At its core, the Jonathan Papelbon deal epitomizes the debate of a closer's importance. The Phillies will be accused of overpaying, but that label is usually applied to most reliever contracts.
March 20, 2012 |
An MRI might show what is going on inside Chase Utley's knees. It can't tell us what's going on inside his head. That's just as important as the Phillies second baseman embarks on his second annual quest for a short-term solution to his chronic knee problems. Utley has chosen to keep his medical issues and options to himself, which is his absolute right. It is also the right of the fans who contribute to his millions in salary to wish he'd be a little bit more forthcoming. Forced to honor Utley's wish for privacy, the Phillies have come off looking less than honest with those same fans.
February 25, 2012 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Skipping a bullpen session in late February can have little effect later, but when it's a $120 million arm not doing the throwing as scheduled, it requires attention. So Cliff Lee's shrug and Ruben Amaro Jr.'s downplaying Wednesday could all be justified. Lee did not throw his last scheduled bullpen session because of abdominal soreness. Lee said it was a "minor deal. " Amaro called it "normal. " "I'm not worried about Cliff," Amaro said. "Better safe than sorry, especially this early," Lee said.
April 11, 2013 |
Charlie Manuel offered a history lesson Tuesday afternoon. He was talking about Roy Halladay, once a Phillies ace but now unrecognizable, and brought up Brad Lidge's name. The former Phillies closer is the quintessential example of Manuel's loyalty. Lidge blew 11 saves in 2009, pitched to a 7.21 ERA, but remained the closer as the Phillies won the pennant. "I looked down there and, to me, Brad Lidge was probably still the best I had," Manuel said. "If I was going to lose the game, it was going to be with Brad Lidge.
February 5, 2012
You've recently been fired as general manager of the Houston Astros and your cellphone rings. It's Ruben Amaro Jr. calling. He wants to know if you'd be interested in rejoining the Phillies as a special consultant. That's a big step down in title and pay from your previous job with the organization. It means you now report to several people, including Amaro, who used to report to you. What do you do? Ed Wade had to think about it. "I said, 'Let's park it in neutral so I can get my head around a lot of things,' " Wade said.
December 6, 2011 |
DALLAS - The GPS in Ruben Amaro Jr.'s head seems to always tell him to take the unexpected turn. Now, that unpredictable directional voice may be talking to Amaro again - if you believe that the Phillies general manager is about to do all the things necessary to make Aramis Ramirez his new third baseman. It's possible, of course, that this is all just a negotiating ploy to get shortstop Jimmy Rollins to back down on his free-agent asking price, which apparently remains well above the plateau the Phillies are willing to pay. Amaro said for the umpteenth time this offseason that his priority is to re-sign Rollins, but he also admitted that if his veteran shortstop with the surest glove in the National League goes elsewhere, the Phillies need a Plan B. "I think we'd probably have to consider improving our offense somewhere else," the general manager said.
May 5, 2010
NOBODY IS SAYING Ruben Amaro Jr. should be "Carnac the Magnificent. " Still, when the Phillies' general manager was asked last night about his team's tenuous pitching thus far, his response was far too simple. "You wish your pitching was a little better, but when you have this kind of injury . . . We're out two-fifths of our rotation," said Amaro, referring to Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ. "That makes it tough. "Like I've said before, you can't plan for every injury, and we've had a couple of them.
November 20, 2011
Ruben Amaro Jr.'s first trade as Phillies general manager was for John Mayberry Jr. Given the fact that Mayberry is the leading candidate to become the Phillies' starting leftfielder next season, the GM's initial acquisition of a fellow Jr. and Stanford graduate appears to be quite a steal. Greg Golson, the outfielder sent to Texas for Mayberry and now in the New York Yankees' organization, is showing no signs of being worthy of a first-round pick, while Mayberry is looking like a classic late bloomer.
October 3, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The card that bench coach Pete Mackanin taped to a wall in the Phillies clubhouse Tuesday displayed a lineup with a mere $22.5 million worth of baseball players. And that's including Chase Utley, who accounted for $15 million by himself. It was manager Charlie Manuel's 130th different lineup in 161 games. Darin Ruf, starting his eighth consecutive game, batted higher than ever before in the five-hole. All he did was bash two home runs one day after winning a game with a two-run triple as the Phillies lost, 4-2, to Washington at Nationals Park.