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Quote of the Day: Ruben Amaro says Ryan Howard needs to get better

Jul 5, 2013, 3:27 PM EDT

Ryan Howard AP

Rueben Amaro uses a term for Ryan Howard that I’ve used only for trolling purposes: “platoon:”

“If Ryan Howard is now relegated to being a platoon player, he’s a very expensive platoon player and he needs to be better,” Amaro said. “I think he knows it. I know he’s struggling, I know he’s not happy with his performance — neither are we. I think he’s going to be better, but right now, he’s just not doing the job.”

No. But the guy who is quoted here is the one who decided that he was worth $75m for 2015-2017, plus a $10m buyout for 2018.

Amaro also notes that if the Phillies don’t make a dramatic move during their upcoming ten-game stretch against the Nationals and Braves, it’s selling time.



  1. ame123 - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Howard is signed through 2016 with a 2017 option.

    • jrobitaille23 - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:01 PM

      facts are not Craig’s strong suit

  2. biasedhomer - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Amaro should be fired soon. He should not be trusted with rebuilding this team. We already saw how little he got in return for Cliff Lee and Hunter Pence. He’s is not the right person for the job of rebuilding.

    • 18thstreet - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:20 PM

      Amaro should have been fired the second the Howard contract was offered. It was indefensible. The defense was that he hits RBIs. The critics said that was deceptive.

      The critics were right all along.

  3. aceshigh11 - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    A $20 million-plus / year platoon player.


  4. chacochicken - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    I don’t think that’s going to do it. RAJ needs to go advanced negative reinforcement here. I’d say, ah, kidnap, Ryan’s family. Sends an ear or a toe for 0-4 nights. He can have a kid back when he’s player of the week. I even know a guy.

    • heyblueyoustink - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:08 PM

      This one is underrated. Well done.

  5. Kevin Gillman - Jul 5, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Do you guys have the idea that is Amaro wasn’t the GM of a big market team, he wouldn’t be the GM right now? Look at how much money he has spent over the last four seasons, and what has he won with it?

  6. kiwicricket - Jul 5, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    I don’t see what Amaro gains by saying these things? Yes, Howard is fat and out of shape, he’s probably a little pissed Howard didn’t put in more effort there, but what is he really after by publicly stating he sucks? Ignite the fire? Motivation?

    It seems like a petulant jab at a guy who’s struggling because Amaro is struggling to keep his head above water.

    • xmatt0926x - Jul 5, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      You don’t think he’s going to say “I signed this guy to a disastrous contract 2 full years before I needed to. And oh yeah, just for shits and giggles I bid against myself and signed Papelbon to an outrageous deal while at the same time ignoring the putrid front end of the bullpen, thereby rendering the shutdown closer basically useless for much of the season”?

      No. As the ship sinks Ruben will gladly talk to the media about injuries and who “isn’t getting the job done”.

      • kiwicricket - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        My point is that it is so blatantly obvious, it’s nearing on teenage argument material.
        All the flashing red lights in his office are clearly distracting him from understanding how his comments are actually being perceived.

        It is not essential he opens his yap about several thing in the past few weeks. Greater savvy and intelligence would of kept his mouth shut and lessened the damage/interest/turmoil/opinions etc etc

  7. flamethrower101 - Jul 5, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Only thing I can take from RAJ talking so much to the media about Howard & the Phillies not being sellers if he knows he’s gonna be out of a job soon.

  8. kingbuccaneer - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Maybe it’s because Beef Howard is busy concentrating on the monster $30 million fortress he’s building on Bellair Beach.

  9. tfbuckfutter - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Weird. I have never heard of someone pointing out how bad people are at their jobs to distract from how bad he is at HIS job.

    This new strategy could filter down until the entire Phillies season is blamed on the crippled boy who couldn’t find the plate with the ceremonial first pitch.

    • heyblueyoustink - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:09 PM

      So you’re saying, I have a chance?

    • kiwicricket - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:36 PM

      Yep. That was basically my point above. You expect this from newspaper hacks or radio/tv guys…not the GM of a large market team.

    • mazblast - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:15 PM

      It’s SOP in the corporate world. Go down the food chain until you find someone who has no important allies, then put all the blame on him/her/it.

      • gloccamorra - Jul 6, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        In corporate, that stuff doesn’t go out past the boardroom or at worst the major stockholders. Baseball is more than a business watched only by Wall Street, it’s entertainment, with a much bigger audience. You may be right, though: he could be talking primarily for the benefit of the “board”, the owners.

  10. jrobitaille23 - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    I don’t want to defend Amaro who is clearly about to lose his job and probably should before they decide to go on a selling spree (would you want the guy to be overseeing these trades?), but he has been let down by these players, either with effort, health (which the players cannot control) or lack of performance. We are talking about MVP players in Howard and Rollins, MVP caliber in Utley…CY Young caliber pitchers in Roy, Hamels, nor the slow development of Brown. These things happen. But, the team needs to jettison several of their bloated salaries and try to get out from under them, maybe getting some prospects in return though highly unlikely in Howard’s case.

    • paperlions - Jul 5, 2013 at 9:58 PM

      The only thing RAJ was let down by is his own understanding of aging curves. Expecting old players to continue to perform as if they are still in their prime is just stupid….and while fans may have only recently realized that the prime of most careers ends at 30, any informed FO has known that for quite a while. RAJ signed players for too much money for too many years….and EVERYONE that knew anything knew it when it happened. Two-to-three years ago people were saying this team was getting too old too fast and he did nothing about it. The team is old…old teams break and they break fast.

  11. greymares - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    I don’t know if your any good at your job but there’s a better chance you lose your job before Amaro loses his. He is Dave Montgomery’s boy and will continue to be the G.M. of the Phillies at least through the next managers contract. As for Howard looks like he may have only needed some Braves pitching to get better.

  12. jayquintana - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Um, what if he can’t get any better? What if, at his age, this is the best he can be?

  13. schmedley69 - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    Howard is having a bad year, but the dude is playing on one leg and he’s still out-producing B.J. Upton by a mile. Wonder when Frank wren will start ripping Upton? Wonder when there will be daily posts on HardballTalk bashing that awful contract?

  14. tory707 - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Ed wade. Built this team, Gillick fine tuned it and won 1 title when they should have won a minimum of 2. Amaro has ruined this team. Look at the moves he made when he took over. Did not pick up Halladay when the should have. The next year it cost them a ton more. No reupping lee the first time the costing them a ton more. Loosing all those prospects. Signing Rollins and Howard. What a mess. How can they keep this guy? Now Charlie is going to take the fall. Way to go Rubin. Take your cocky attitude and leave.

  15. anthonyverna - Jul 6, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    So, the man with a bad Achilles tendon (let’s admit it – that injury is what derailed his career and is still affecting him) needs to “get better.” I’m glad you’re so specific, Reuben.

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