This should (but it won’t) be the last interview MF-ing fraud Ruben Amaro does as Phillies GM. He’s a complete disgrace, a dope, a con, and in this interview came off sounding like a college kid who forgot to turn in his semester-long research paper. Amaro offered up so many excuses while he flailed during his 20-minute interview with Mike Missanelli, as part of his apology tour, that I honest to God thought he was going to blame Pat Burrell’s dog for eating the 2009 draft targets list before the World Fucking Champions ring ceremony that spring. Eh, sorry Mikey, we passed up on, like, six opportunities to draft Paul Goldschmidt because our scouting report was still making its way through Elvis’ digestive tract. Don’t worry– he got it up. But it was too late. Can I do anything for some extra credit? Perhaps continue to tout the potential of Domonic Brown or 46-year-old Darin Ruf?
This is Amaro explaining that one of the reasons for the Phillies’ recent struggles is they were so good, for so long, and had lousy draft slots:
“We were picking very, very late in those opportunities, sometimes picking somewhere between 25 and 30 and when you do, that it puts your club in a tough position. Paul Owens used to say this all the time: You have one or two bad drafts and it sets you back four or five years. And it’s not necessarily bad drafts but drafts when you didn’t get the opportunity to pick at a higher level. When you’re winning the division every year, when you’ve got the best record in the game every year, and then on top of that you add free agents to try to continue the winning process, which we had some success doing, you’re going to pay for it in the back-end and that’s kinda what happened to us and now it’s time to turn it around.”
Yes, this, this particular thing, in a draft that has 50 rounds and is notoriously unpredictable, is what has led to the Phillies, a team with one of the highest payrolls in baseball, becoming a 100-loss contender. Fuck you, Ruben. Fuck you.
But as if that wasn’t bad enough, he then cited the Phillies’ list of middling (at best) prospects and Major League-ready warm bodies as reasons to be excited for the future:
“We have hit on some guys, at the same time we have Asche and Rupp and some other guys who are in the major leagues for us who are helping us at the big league level.”
“We’re gonna bring Brownie and Asche back to the major leagues at some point to continue their development. We’ve got kids that we’ve acquired or we have drafted or have acquired through the international program … that are having success and building our organization. We’ve got guys in double-A that we’ve talked about, the Quinns and Eflins and Nolas and etc. Lively’s pitching well there and creating some depth for us. Windle is still learning some things and he’s a young player. We got kids like Tocci and Grullon and others in Lakewood. We have guys like J.P. Crawford who is getting ready to take the next step in his process … there’s a ton of positive things that are happening I like to focus on that.”
Look, you can’t just name people who may or may not exist as reasons why things are looking up. That’s like Lycos ticking off 16 search terms entered on its site last month as reasons why they still have a fledging organic search business, but conveniently failing to mention those 16 terms represented the sum total of all searches on site and were all performed by a guy named “Joey,” apparently on a quest to find the perfect combination of keywords to get just the best picture of a cat having sex with a goat. Um, let’s see here. We have “feline ravishes goat,” “Billy gets his pussy,” and, ah, “Horns in the Litterbox,” which was apparently the working title of Dreamworks film that was never given the green light, among others. We think we’re making a comeback and in a big way.
Brownie and Asche? Brownie is a lackadaisical underachiever who was thankful just to get a free lunch out of learning the news that he wasn’t good enough to play for the worst team in baseball, two years after being named an All-Star. And Asche was sent down two weeks ago TO LEARN AN ENTIRELY NEW POSITION. He’s so good and valuable, the Phillies decided they didn’t need him for a few weeks while they fucked with his entire career in an alarmingly panicky move. And besides Nola and J.P. Crawford, the other players are just names of people who play in the Phillies minor league system. I think. Seriously, Ruben could’ve just hit “next” on the Harry Potter name generator and none of us would’ve known the difference. Think I’m joking? You tell me which of these are Lakewood Blue Claws and which are randomly generated fictitious names based on a book about an English kid gaining superpowers [answers at the end of the post!]:
- Kevin Sprout
- Chris Oliver
- Shane Watson
- Matt Hockenberry
- Kevin Switch
- Tom Abbott
- Justin Thickey
- Colin Trimble
- Rhys Hoskins
- Tim Zier
So yeah, consider me not impressed by Ruben just naming names. Because those guys might not even be real.
And lastly, but perhaps most maddeningly, just minutes after blaming some of the Phillies’ recent struggles on injuries to players they wanted to trade, Amaro reiterated his refusal to hedge his bets and trade Hamels before he gets hurt, and even went so far as to suggest that, hey, maybe we should just keep him:
RA: “So my question to you is should we get lesser value out of a player just because we’re worried about him getting hurt?”
MM: “I’m just saying there’ll come a time when you may have to fish or cut bait.”
RA: “We’re not in any mandate to move Cole Hamels. He could be part of the transition. But the time his contract is over, we will have been hopefully back into a position to be a contender and we may want Cole Hamels to be at the top of our rotation at that time.”
MM: “It’s not very likely though, is it?”
RA: “But it could be, and so we all know how difficult it us. When I took over and from the time I was in the front office in Philadelphia all we talked about when I came on in ’98 was “We need pitching. We need pitching. We need pitching. We need pitching. We need pitching. We need pitching.” Well, we got a lot of pitching and we had a lot of success having pitching. And when you start talking about dealing away your best pitching, you better hit a home run because this is a guy you’re gonna want sitting at the top or near the top of your rotation when it’s time for you to be a contender again. And so, you have to weigh that with the type of talent you might be able to get for a guy like that.”
Prepare for Cole Hamels injuries posts in 2017 and 2018, when he’s an overworked lefty playing his contract on a bad, bad team.
Listen to the full interview here. It’s maddening.
Sprout, Switch, Abbott, Trimble and Thickey all attended Hogwarts, probably.