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.
April 15, 2012
If this season is anything like Ruben Amaro Jr.'s first three as Phillies general manager, there is going to come a time in July when he starts looking for help from another organization. You may not like the fact that the Phillies have failed to win a World Series since Amaro succeeded Hall of Famer Pat Gillick as the team's GM, but that does not change the reality that the current GM has significantly strengthened the team at the trade deadline every year since he took control.
December 6, 2011 |
DALLAS - Even if Jimmy Rollins ends up leaving Philadelphia, it is hard to envision the Phillies replacing him with a 22-year-old prospect who until last season had never hit higher than .240 in the minors. More likely, the team would look for a low-cost option, either through free agency or a trade, to pair with Wilson Valdez or Michael Martinez. Still, there is plenty of intrigue about Freddy Galvis among the Phillies brass. He has been hailed as a defensive whiz with a big-league-caliber glove since he was an 18-year-old at low-A Lakewood in 2008.
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.
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.
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.
July 11, 2012 |
FROM DOMINANCE to irrelevance in 9 months; so have the Phillies fallen. Charlie Manuel guided the club to its best days and, now, to some of its worst. Andy Reid should send him a basket of Reid's favorite crullers, because Chuck and Co. have replaced the 8-8 Eagles as the city's biggest sports disappointment in decades. Maybe ever. According to the general manager's logic, Manuel will not be fired for it. Not after winning 102 games last season and hoping to hit .500 this year.
December 5, 2012 |
NASHVILLE - At one point during Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.'s afternoon meeting with the media at the winter meetings, the idea of John Mayberry Jr. returning next season as the starting centerfielder was raised. Before a line forms at the top of the Walt Whitman Bridge or an angry mob shows up carrying torches at One Citizens Bank Way, you should know that Mayberry in center field is no better than Plan Z for Amaro, who said he went into this offseason with 10 Plan B's. Which Plan B comes to fruition between now and opening day in Atlanta remained a mystery on Monday as the winter meetings officially opened inside the vast Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, where holiday tourists, Tommy Lasorda, and John Kruk frequently crossed paths.