Photo courtesy St. Pete Beach Photo
Does anyone else get the sense that Ruben Amaro is poking a caged tiger, perhaps intentionally?
Hai! Hai! Hai! You’re not going to make the big club. You’re not going to make the big club. Hai! Hai! Hai!
Then the tiger jumps out of the cage and rips his fucking head off.
That’s kind of how I see spring training going down… or at least how I’d like to see it go down.
Brown comma Domonic, who worked out with Gary Sheffield this offseason, wasn’t awful with the Phillies last year. He batted .245 with 10 doubles, 5 home runs and 19 RBI in 184 AB, good for a .333 on-base percentage and .725 OPS– not hideous by any stretch, but not great either.
Brown was sent down when Hunter Pence arrived last season. He struggled in the minors and never returned, save for one late-season at-bat in garbage time. In October, Amaro told reporters that his vision was for Brown to spend the 2012 season in AAA.
Brown no like.
This morning, the Phillies rolled Brown out for the legion of scribes to simultaneously tweet about:
One thing that stood out, as detailed by Delco Times beat writer Ryan Lawrence:
He cut off a reporter who started a question by asking if Brown would be "almost at peace" with starting the season with the IronPigs.
"Almost at peace?" Brown interrupted. "No, I’m not almost at peace if I start at Triple-A. I think you got me wrong there. I’m coming to win a job, I’m fighting to win a job here, and that’s the goal. But if I start at Triple-A, I start at Triple-A. It’s that simple."
Somewhere, Ilya Bryzgalov wants to search for that peace with Dom Brown.
Anyway, what Brown said contrasts a bit with Amaro's plans, as told to the Inquirer's Matt Gelb:
"Spring is a good time to dream a little bit," Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "It's important for Domonic to show us what he's got."
Get back into the cage, you dreamer.
The Amaro Challenge: Rube’s way of cock-slapping an underachieving player to better results.
Rube’s talking a big game, and, quite frankly, everything he says is fair: Brown needs more time. But it’s odd that a guy who, not more than a year ago, was viewed as such an important piece in the franchise’s plan is seemingly being treated as a work-in-progress. Something tells me Rube has a method to his madness. In this case, he’s trying to piss off Brown, and it seems that it may be working.
Now the tiger just has to hit the ball.