A familiar name was brought up in a NY Post (take with grain of salt, please) article about Disney President Bob Iger being a potential replacement for Bud Selig when he steps down next January: Ruben Amaro Jr. Yeah, the guy whose business has taken a measurable step backward each year since he took over for Pat Gillick before the 2009 season. That Ruben Amaro:
Candidates will be nominated by the MLB committee and then voted on by league owners, with 24 of 30 votes needed to get the job.
Sports Illustrated suggested this month that high-profile possibilities like Joe Torre, Bob Costas, George F. Will and Dick Ebersol are unrealistic because of their age or lack of interest in the gig. Other potential candidates include MLB execs such as COO Rob Manfred as well as Dodgers owner Stan Kasten and Phillies GM Rubén Amaro Jr.
Haha. That’s the only reasonable reaction to that last sentence. But then again, the search for Selig’s successor has seen the name George W. Bush - a former club owner and, you know, President – thrown around. So anything is possible. [Oddly, unlike being a puppet President, GW might be required to make more of his own decisions as commissioner-- essentially the CEO of a major company. In other words: he could actually be a worse commissioner than President.]
But being commissioner might be a role that suits Amaro better than GM. His baseball-team-building skills are antiquated and, quite frankly, lacking. His arrogant failure to embrace even the most basic of advanced metrics, instead relying heavily on scouting and a huge wallet, has led him to manage the Phillies into the ground. There’s almost nothing to look forward to, no young player to excite fans. But, if there’s one thing Amaro is good at, I think, it’s getting deals done. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence, Roy Oswalt, even Pedro Martinez. Those are all guys who were, in some shape or form, in demand at the time the Phillies acquired or re-signed them. And deal-making is a large part of what a commissioner does. So is bullshitting people. Amaro, who went to Stanford, is smart (ostensibly), a decent negotiator, and bullshits like no other.
Of course, I still think this would be a horrible idea.