In inquiring about the near-term future of the Phils last Sunday, I did not expect to see that look, upon approaching Amaro at Citizens Bank Park with a thesis (paraphrased here): “My assumption is that with a payroll already around $170 million, a bunch of veterans under contract, Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez already signed, this isn’t a winter where you do big things. Right?”
No need to paraphrase Amaro’s immediate answer, which came with the aforementioned look: “Nope.”
“Oh,” I said, taken aback. “So you’re going to be your usual creative self and explore all crazy possibilities?”
Watch, as the Great Amaro swaggles his cock for allllll to see.
But seriously, you guys, should we be surprised that Amaro is at least thinking about foolishly chasing meaningless wins this offseason? Not really. Asking Amaro to change his ways now is like asking a fish to learn how to walk. Not gonna happen. The only way you’re going to get him out of the water is with a rusty hook in his mouth… which, come to think of it, might be one way to pry Amaro out of David Montgomery’s lap. Amaro is already so far upstream with his cockamamie approach to building a baseball team that there’s no use in him turning back now. Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming!
Of course… there is one guy, who’s young, and good, that might be intriguing. Mr. Martino?
What can he actually do? The point is that he wants to surprise us, so it is futile to run through scenarios, but here’s an example of the sort of thing we’re talking about: Highly respected Philly reporter Jim Salisbury has written multiple stories about the Phils’ desire for Giancarlo Stanton (above). We don’t know if Miami will trade him within the division; hell, we don’t even know who the GM of the Marlins will be a in a few weeks. But we know that Amaro salivates over the notion of reeling in a whale like that.
A pursuit of Stanton would be classic Amaro. He loves hot stove drama, big-game hunting and surprises. Back in December, 2010, Amaro had just seen his ballclub play in its second consecutive World Series, but he wanted Toronto ace Roy Halladay. In a whirlwind of machinations in the days after the winter meetings, he traded Cliff Lee to Seattle, acquired Halladay, and signed him to a contract extension.
That sound you hear is me giggling like George W. Bush. That plan is so evil, so unlikely… that it just might work and be enough to keep us interested in the Phillies this winter. I wouldn’t expect it, and the Phillies have other, more complex problems to solve… but shock and awe is always an option, even if, somewhere else, there are tiny caves filled with useful role players that the Phillies desperately need.