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November 1, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
While two teams that did not win 90 regular-season games in 2014 played to the conclusion of the World Series, the Phillies huddled at their facility in Clearwater, Fla. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. unveiled The Phillies Way, a handbook distributed to all baseball personnel - coaches, scouts, athletic trainers included - during the team's organizational meetings this week. The Phillies are not the first team to draft such a manual. Amaro planned it, well before the franchise shifted to a rebuilding phase, and decided this was the ideal time to affirm the team's direction.
SPORTS
September 30, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
It was a beautiful day for baseball, unless, of course, it was that brand of baseball the Phillies have tortured their fans with the last two seasons. Not even clear skies and comfortable temperatures could erase the stench that has saturated Citizens Bank Park for far too long. There was no formal state-of-the-team address by general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. or acting team president Pat Gillick before or after the season's final game. None was needed. We've known for months that this was another lost season for the team with the third-highest payroll in baseball, and we've been assured for quite some time that the general manager will remain in charge of personnel operations going forward.
SPORTS
September 25, 2014
MIAMI - Jonathan Papelbon returned to active duty yesterday, with his seven-game suspension coming to an end. Nine days earlier, Papelbon got into an altercation with umpire Joe West at Citizens Bank Park after the volatile closer made an obscene gesture (or equipment adjustment, according to the pitcher) in the direction of fans following a blown save. Both Amaro and manager Ryne Sandberg confirmed that Papelbon remains the team's closer. Even in Philadelphia this weekend, if the situation calls for a save, and despite what could be an ugly South Philadelphia return for Papelbon.
SPORTS
September 25, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
MIAMI - On Monday, Ruben Amaro Jr. was in the Dominican Republic with a contingent of Phillies baseball operations people to get a firsthand look at slugging outfielder Yasmany Tomas, a Cuban defector. Last week, Amaro was in Japan on another scouting mission. Such is the life of a beleaguered general manager who was given a vote of confidence on his job status repeatedly this season, but is still on the hot seat from Philadelphia sports fans after failing to field a winner for three straight seasons despite having one of the top three payrolls in baseball.
SPORTS
September 24, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MIAMI - There will be no "Mission Accomplished" banners hanging from Citizens Bank Park if the Phillies surpass last season's win total with more than two victories in their final six games. Outsiders will see that feat as further proof that a culture of mediocrity has enveloped the franchise. But some team officials, no doubt, will maintain that competitiveness is close. That, after all, is how the Phillies thought after last season's 73 wins. They doubled down on a strategy of augmenting an older core with even older players through free agency.
SPORTS
September 12, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLIFF LEE made a quick trip to Philadelphia this week for the first of two checkups with doctors this month. Following Tuesday's exam with Phillies team doctor Michael Ciccotti, general mnager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Lee's ailing left elbow has improved. Lee will be checked out again at the end of the season. He is expected to begin throwing in early November, according to Amaro. "We'll see where it goes from there," Amaro said yesterday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. Lee wasn't available for comment.
SPORTS
September 4, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
ATLANTA - The final call isn't likely to come for another month, when the season officially comes to an end, but the growing expectation for most of the summer was that Ruben Amaro Jr. would return for his seventh season as the Phillies' general manager in 2015. Team president David Montgomery, currently on medical leave, spoke to a group of fans at Citizens Bank Park 2 weeks ago and said Amaro was not on the hot seat. Amaro, when asked about it himself in recent months, hasn't ever given the notion that he was particularly worried about his job security.
SPORTS
September 4, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTA - Before he ascended to interim president of the Phillies, Pat Gillick spoke with Ruben Amaro Jr. two or three times a week on the phone. Gillick, a Hall of Fame executive, served from his Seattle home as a sounding board for Amaro. Little will change now that Gillick, 77, is Amaro's boss. "Ruben and I mutually agree on most decisions that we make," Gillick said Tuesday at Turner Field. "Ruben is very inclusive on any decisions that we make for the ball club. But right now, if there's something I might have a different opinion, I'll certainly voice that opinion, and we'll talk it through and try to make what we think is the correct decision.
SPORTS
August 31, 2014 | BY JAKE KAPLAN, Daily News Staff Writer kaplanj@phillynews.com
NEW YORK - A little more than 3 hours before last night's first pitch, Ruben Amaro Jr. addressed the players gathered in the visiting team clubhouse at Citi Field. The Phillies' general manager reiterated the developments of Thursday, that in the wake of David Montgomery's medical leave of absence, Pat Gillick will be interim team president. "We'll go about our business status quo," Amaro told a group of reporters a few minutes later. "I'll report to Pat. [Manager Ryne Sandberg]
SPORTS
August 22, 2014 | By John Smallwood, Daily News Columnist
IN MY SMALL OPINION . . . Timing can be everything, and, frankly, this is a bad time for Phillies president David Montgomery to have given general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. another public vote of confidence. Obviously, what Montgomery thinks behind closed doors will differ from what he says publicly about the team's future, but it was irresponsible for Montgomery to have told a group of fans the other day that "[Amaro] is not on the hot seat. " When your major league club is 15 games under .500 with the third-highest payroll in baseball and your minor league system is devoid of promising prospects, no one can be off the "hot seat" - especially not the person overseeing the entire organization.
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