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The Phillies still plan to be buyers at the deadline

Jul 10, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

Great Moments in Denial:


They’ve had a nice run against the division leaders and still find themselves 7.5 games back with no real sense of where the offensive production is going to come from and with little or no minor league talent with which to buy an impact bat.

But it’s not my team. If you want to be a buyer, Ruben, by all means go shopping. Let me know how you do.

  1. shaggylocks - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    He’s talking about buying prospects. You didn’t let him finish.

    • hittfamily - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      Buying a timeshare for the first week of October.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:29 AM

        No one can resist Sammy Sosa’s sweater.

  2. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Shoking to see a NL East GM that doesn’t believe the Braves have it wrapped up…..

    In all seriousness though, I would not put a lot of stock in that comment. He could mean it, it could be a head fake. I have no clue, and neither does anyone else

    • memphiseagles22 - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      Braves have it wrapped up? I bet you were saying the same thing a couple years ago when they had a 10 game lead on August 26th. I’m not completely sold on the Braves, plus the Nats are getting healthy and the Phils are getting hot.

      • gothapotamus90210 - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        I feel the Braves get the “liberal media” treatment of baseball. Every year you hear how great their pitching will be, but nobody mentions the prior injuries to their staff, or the fact that they are young and relatively unproven – almost as though their top prospects are guaranteed to pan out.

        They haven’t really done anything since their streak of division titles ended to warrant such pre-season expectations.

      • bleedgreen - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        The Braves pitching staff is kinda like the Cowboys. Its not that they’re bad, they’re actually pretty good… but the media talks about them like like every starter won the Cy Young last year and the relievers are all of Mariano Rivera and Rollie Fingers.

      • bravojawja - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        “Liberal media treatment”? What does that even mean?

        The same could be said about the Nats’ pitching staff the last couple of years, too. They were supposed to waltz away with this division by the end of April.

      • 18thstreet - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        gothapotamus90210, you need to get out more.

    • biasedhomer - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      The NL East is fairly weak, maybe even weaker than the NL West. Washington is the most talented of the bunch but they are struggling. The Braves are not that great. After the hot start they have cooled off.

      Braves, Nats, Phils, any of the 3 can win it.

      • xmatt0926x - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        Braves are absolutely living off that first couple weeks where J-Upton went bonkers and the team went 12-1. Since that night when they got to 12-1 the Phillies have the same record as the Braves.

        Am I tooting the Phillies horn? No. Just explaining that the Braves for the overwhelming majority of the season have been just as mediocre as the Phillies and Nats. They are a homer or bust team and could easily go on a decent slide if the homers run cold for a week or so.

        If I were the Phillies or Nats, I wouldn’t be scared of the Braves at all and it might give me the itch to buy instead of sell.

  3. specialkindofstupid - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    In instances like this in sports, when the guy choosing to “buy” even though his team (usually) has a slim chance of succeeding, I ask one question: “What kind of job security does the guy calling the shots have?”

    Because if it’s a guy with good job security (think John Schuerholz or Pat Gillick back in the day), it’s probably the right call. Such a guy is looking at the short-term and long-term success of the team, and if he thinks “buying” is the right call, you go with it.

    But if it’s a guy with shaky job security, choosing to buy when your team is middling seems incredibly self serving to me. Guys like that, if they sell at the trade deadline, might not be around by the time the upcoming offseason arrives.

    So, I throw this question out there to Phillies fans or other fans in the know the pulse of the team: What kind of job security does Ruben Amaro have these days? I am honestly curious.

    • bleedgreen - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      If the Phils don’t make the playoffs, or a strong run, Amaro will be fired. What does he care if there are no prospects in the farm system if he’s not here to run it? And if they somehow get hot and go deep or win the WS, he’s good for another 2-3 years anyways.

    • reubenthampton - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      He’s not on the hot seat at all. As much crab as I give him for the Howard and Papelbon deals, he did essentially steal Halladay, Cliff Lee (twice), Pence, and signed Rollins to a reasonable deal. Also given the way Brown and Ruiz have turned out, I’d say he’s done a fairly good job. Sure, do I think some of things he does at times are absurd, but overall he’s pretty much the Maximus in the Collesium. Check out these articles to see exactly what he’s good at:;–running;

    • heyblueyoustink - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      He has plenty of time. The ownership of the Phils is very loyal to their higher ups ( see Ed Wade, our special consultant since 2011 ).

  4. ame123 - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Buying is absolutely the correct call. There is no juggernaut in the division and the team is one Cliff Lee start from being .500 and 2 games away from being alone in 2nd place. They will be selective value-bin buyers – they will not mortgage the future, but they will add a few incremental upgrades, most likely in the bullpen.

    • chip56 - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      What future? Amaro’s already given away any prospect worth playing.

      • ame123 - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        Ok, thanks prospect expert.

      • chip56 - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:57 AM

        You’re welcome

      • ryanrockzzz - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        Yea, that’s generally what you have to do though to stay good for so long, which the Phillies have been. Asche looks good down in the minors. As do Biddle and Franco. None will be studs (although Fanco is starting to turn that tide) but they look poised to contribute at the major league level.

      • greymares - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:39 AM

        I see about 40 live Lehigh Valley and Reading games every year the experts are wrong the Philly future is much brighter than you think

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:17 PM

        Please point out the statistics of the prospects that were worth playing that the Phillies got rid of. Even Singleton who was highly touted is turning into a pumpkin this season. As far as I know none of these guys are doing very well in the minors, and well Drabek has stunk it up at the major league level and looks to maybe nosedive into oblivion.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        ” Amaro’s already given away any prospect worth playing.”

        FWIW, here is EVERY SINGLE prospect that Amaro has traded….not exactly the 2017 All Star game here:

        Mike Zagurski
        Jason Knapp
        Carlos Carrasco
        Jason Donald
        Lou Marson
        Jonathan Villar
        Anthony Gose
        J.A. Happ
        Jarred Cosart
        Jonathan Singleton
        Josh Zeid
        Sergio Escalona
        Domingo Santana
        Trevor May
        Vance Worley
        Rich Thompson
        Lisalverto Bonilla
        Greg Golson
        Travis d’Arnaud
        Kyle Drabek
        Michael Taylor
        Michael Schwimmer

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        Point, set, match.

        I’ve been saying since April, I WANT people to sleep on this team and write them off.

  5. chip56 - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Trolling for Philly fans already Craig…you couldn’t even wait until noon?

    • greymares - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      This is Craig’s way of whistling past the cemetary.

  6. hittfamily - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Baseball is weird. 3 of the bottom 5 teams in payroll are likely to make the postseason. 2 of the top 5 are likely to make it. 7 of the top 10 are likely to miss it. For all the talk about minimum payrolls, it certainly appears like less is often more.

    I don’t read deadspin. I think it is a garbage TMZesque take on sports. It was the first link on google about team payrolls.

    • hittfamily - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      why the hate HBTers? Did I offend your mother?

      • Joe - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:14 AM

        Probably because you admitted being too lazy to look past your first hit on Google.

      • albertmn - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:20 AM

        You had time to write a complaint about deadspin, yet didn’t have time to scroll down to click a different item on the google search?

      • hittfamily - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:25 AM

        It is a complete and accurate list. Why search further, when I found what I needed?

  7. ryanrockzzz - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Not that I would support Ruben buying at all, BUT the Phillies have played with a similar record to the Braves after their hot start to the season. And they are right there with the Nats, who don’t seem inclined to sell. The Phillies are also a better second half team… there are reasons, and we all know RAJ only needs to see the mirage in the desert to convince himself there is water.

    • hittfamily - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      I agree. 7.5 out at the All star break means jack squat. The Rays were 8 out in 2011 when they decided not to sell off Upton, then 10 out sept 1 and made it. At both times, Boston was the best team in baseball. Boston was so good, they won 9 games in september and still won 90 games.

      Last year, the A’s, Cards, and Tigers were both in 3rd place at this time. The A’s were 9 games behind the Rangers. 3 of the 6 teams playoff teams were in third place on July 10th. But somehow the Phillies are crazy to not give up on the season?

      • kyzslew77 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        Subtle but crucial difference: the 2012 A’s, Cards and Tigers were all good teams. The 2013 Phillies are not.

  8. brianratm - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Craig, 75% of the time you are a journalist. The other 25% you spent Philly hating you are a joke, whose subjective analysis may intrigue the dim witted, but frankly it is getting old and tired. Do you really wanna compare the state of the Phillies to the state of the Braves? The Phils will win the division. Next year Michael Young will move on. Jesse Bibble will take tired. Howard is done, but Ruf will fill in like the new Howard. Ruben just has to pick up some bullpen help this year. Craig, do you have an email, so I can blast you at length? Thanks bro

    • chadjones27 - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      I’m seriously hoping you don’t actually think these things, because, that’s just talkin’ crazy nonsense. The Phils are not going to win the division. Ruf is not the new Howard. Is that a compliment? Ruf looks decent, but, I’m not about to crown the guy a future MVP or all-star. Howard is not going anywhere. And if Michael Young moves on, who replaces him?
      And please retype “Jesse Bibble will take tired” I’m sure there was some crazy auto correct going on there. (It’s Jesse Biddle)

      • bleedgreen - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        Maikel Franco @ 3rd? He’s got a .412 avg in AA right now, granted over 76 PA. If you trade young and ruiz, you’re obviously going to be throwing the towel in. Why not play Ruf, Franco, bring up Tommy Joseph to play C, and let them all take their licks in a lost season?

      • bleedgreen - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        Also bring Hernandez back up to play spot SS/2B as well.

      • chadjones27 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:00 PM

        bleedgreen, there are mangerial reasons why you don’t bring up certain players in a lost season. Not saying this is the case here. But, doesn’t their major league clock start the moment they step on the field, which brings them closer to arbitration. It’s also possible they just aren’t ready.

    • kyzslew77 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      The best part was when you tried to use big words like “subjective”

  9. bleedgreen - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    You are neglecting to mention that the Phils have had one of the better offenses in the NL in the past month or so.

  10. twpguy1964 - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    If he’s buying, there goes the last 3 prospects we have in the system for a starting pitcher, which is all he knows how to do

  11. jhisler - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    We may win the division but we dont have the talent to challenge for a championship. Sell high.

  12. Bob Loblaw - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Records since April 16th

    Atlanta 40-37
    Phillies 39-38
    Wash 38-38

    Games left…Phillies vs Atl 13…Phillies vs Wash 11…Atlanta vs Wash 9(with 6 in Washington)

    Yeah, this division is over. Atlanta has just been dominating the entire NL East this whole season. LOL. They had a hot 12-1 start and since then have struggled to play .500 ball. The Phillies and Wash are yet to have that big winning streak like the Braves had. It will happen for both teams.

    The NL Least is going to be won by a team with less than 90 wins. No reason to count out either the Phillies or the Nationals right now.

    • cohnjusack - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      Records since April 1st

      Atlanta 52-38
      Wash 46-44
      Phillies 45-46

      I tend to find these standing a wee bit more relevant.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        Teams in that list that have overcome 7 game September deficits: Phillies

        Teams in that list that have blown 8 games September leads: Braves

        Current month: July

    • chiefwhirlingdervish10 - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      Blah blah blah..

    • cohnjusack - Jul 28, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      Hey Bob,

      They’re now 10 games out. So….good call with this.

  13. kingjoe1 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Amaro is talking about buying himself time, before they can him for lacking not addressing the minor league system, poor drafting and some stupid contracts.

  14. cohnjusack - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Man, this comment thread is hilarious! I have seen this much denial of the extremely obvious since that time I accidently walked in on a 9/11 Truther meeting (seriously,what’s with those guys?)

    The Phillies are 7.5 back, their offense sucks(9th!), their pitching is worse(12th), they’ve been outscored by 41 runs and they doesn’t really seem to be anybody that anyone can reasonably expect to set up their game at this point. Right now, they’re lucky to be almost a 500 team (they’re pythagorean W-L is 41-50).

    After yes of Phillies fans denying that the Howard contact was going to be terrible, and saying we were all crazy when we spent the last two years pointing out that the Phillies were going to get old and expensive real quick, can you maybe…just maybe accept that some of us might know what we’re talking about when we say there no chance in hell they even sniff the postseason this year?

    • evanwins - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      Who are you trying to convince, us or yourself?

      The Phillies have a lot going in their favor.

      They’ve played the least amount of home games.
      They have been am exceptionally strong 2nd half team.
      They are 28-23 against teams with a winning record.
      They have a really (really) good starting staff and it looks like Hamels has figured something out.
      It’s possible an effective Halladay could pitch again this season.
      They’ve done it before.

      I’m not saying they will win the division but to dismiss it as a possibility as you have is just really stupid.

      • cohnjusack - Jul 28, 2013 at 8:34 PM

        Hey evan…do they still have a lot going in their favor?

    • biasedhomer - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Your comment is probably the most hilarious out of the bunch. The Nats and Phils both can win this division, more so the Nats.

      The Braves, as expected, are not a great team, good team but they aren’t going to run away with the division, more likely they will collapse as in the past.

  15. chaseutley - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    I guess I’m a little bit of a fanboy here, but I still think this team has a run in it. They’ve been a better second half team throughout the Manual Era. Their bats seem to heat up as the season wears on and that seems to be holding true this year….

    April OPS: .688
    May OPS: .694
    June OPS: .756
    July OPS: .763

    Since April 18, the Phillies have played even with the Braves and better than the Nats. A healthy Roy Halladay and/or Ryan Howard is as good as any deadline splash that they could make.

    Add a decent setup man to the bullpen and this team can run down the Braves. My concern at that point is whether or not they have enough sand to make a run in the playoffs.

  16. rj2922 - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    5 games back in the wild card, but you failed to mention that because you are a crappy reporter just trying to stir the pot.

    • biasedhomer - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      He’s not a reported, he’s a blogger. One is objective the other follows an agenda.

  17. usg1 - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    This is the worst thing for the Phillies…….. RAJ thinks the Phillies have a chance now, so he starts selling what little we do have in the farm for temporary help this year, only to fall short of the playoffs anyway, because they just don’t have the talent to match the braves, and then next year we are even worse off with horrible veterans that are old and breaking down and no future help from our minors because RAJ destroys it for one last run.

    This team isn’t good. This last little run is a facade that is coming at the wrong time for us. RAJ makes that comment about the next 10 games or whatever will be what decides if they become buyers or sellers and then all of a sudden they start to play? Where was this sense of urgency before? Here is what is gonna happen…. As soon as the trade deadline passes and none of these veteran players get traded away, they will get complacent and suck again.

    And before anyone calls me a Phillies hater…… I am a Phillies fan. I just rather this team dump these aging veterans and rebuild/retool now and the next few years then keep trying to make a run with these washed up vets and failing. They need to do what the Eagles and 76ers are doing.

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