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Ruben Amaro wants you and your prospect lists to pound sand

Jul 21, 2013, 6:45 PM EDT

Ruben Amaro, Charlie Manuel AP

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro spoke to the media about the Phillies’ position in the market with ten days to go until the trade deadline. Prior to this afternoon’s 5-0 loss to the Mets, the Phillies were again at .500, 6.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East. He talked about the scarcity of capable center fielders and the high price tags on relief pitchers, but also added a seemingly unnecessary snipe at people who have commented on the team’s Minor League system, viewed as among the weaker systems in baseball.

Via Jim Salisbury:

Amaro will be protective of his minor-league prospects when considering trades. The Phils’ system is thin on blue-chippers, but it does have some coveted players. Amaro used the subject of the minor-league system as a springboard to rip those who rate minor-league systems.

“We have some guys that may be available,” Amaro said. “Clubs have asked about some guys that you don’t see on the top 25, top 50 lists of everyone who knows everything about baseball. I said that sarcastically, by the way, because I don’t think people know (crap) about it. You can print that if you’d like.

“There’s just a lot of those lists that come out that make me laugh. I don’t see anyone working for any major-league clubs that do that with those lists. It’s interesting.”

As Eric Longenhagen pointed out on Twitter, Amaro has yet to attend a game at one of his affiliates and is mouthing off despite being the guy behind a system that doesn’t have a capable plug-in center fielder. Amaro very nearly single-handedly ruined Domonic Brown as well. While his overall grade as GM of the Phillies may get an average to slightly above-average mark, his grade on handling the Phillies’ farm system would keep him off of the honor roll. His comments, in context, seem preemptively defensive more than anything.

  1. flamethrower101 - Jul 21, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    RAJ is a joke and the sooner the Phillies get rid of him and hire someone competent, the sooner they’ll get back into contention.

    It’s not all Charlie Manuel’s fault. Yes, he’s not perfect and sometimes he can be really stubborn to a fault. But you can only play with the cards you are dealt unless you have ones hidden up your sleeve.

    • Old Gator - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:51 PM

      Amaro is an idiot. Pounding sand attracts those giant worms.

      • kyzslew77 - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:38 PM

        Hollywood has been doing so many remakes recently–wouldn’t surprise me if they remade that movie too. As long as Kevin Bacon makes a cameo I’m cool with it.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:23 PM

        Good to see you Gator. I was beginning to wonder.

      • Old Gator - Jul 21, 2013 at 10:02 PM

        No big deal – publisher’s deadline is all. No time to breathe. Not quite there yet but by the time the Feesh finally limp home like a bunch of walking catfish with fin rot I ought to be back up to blog speed.

    • greymares - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:01 AM

      I’m OK with Amaro 30-35 yr. old players should not be done. I’t’s the players that are under performing and deserve the ire of the fan base. what keyboard G.M. would not have made almost every move that Amaro made at the time that he made it. yes I also agree about the people evaluating the minor league talent most read the numbers and don’t have a clue about how they were attained. I see 50/60 live Lehigh Valley/ Reading games every year and I’m ok with the talent, are there some positions that need addressing, absolutely, but for me it’s all about the players busting their ass’s to succeed and not many are willing to do that in this game of millionaires.

  2. scotttheskeptic - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Let’s see. Bad contracts to Papelbon, Rollins, and Howard. Failed to adequately address the need for replacements to back-fill when aging players inevitably get hurt, particularly at the start of the 2012 season. Smug arrogance towards everyone. No apparent plan to move forward.

    Sorry, Bill, he barely gets a D.

    • Bill Baer - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      but he really wants the D

      • scotttheskeptic - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:14 PM

        Does that mean he packages Asche, Biddle, and Crawford to the Reds for Choo?

      • scotttheskeptic - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:14 PM

        And I hope he doesn’t read this and get any ideas.

    • twpguy1964 - Jul 22, 2013 at 7:54 AM

      He gets a F. I’d give him lower if possible! He was given the keys to a championship team and has done nothing but ruin it… He trades Lee for the 3 stooges…Gives away Valdez than searches for 3 years for a utility guy after it. Gives away Nate Schierholtz than can’t find outfielders in the system that are even average enough to replace injured players. Signs injured relievers and ones that arent wanted to bad contracts. Signs his own players to ridiculous deals that handcuff the team. Smug attitude, Fleeced the farm system, TWICE, won’t fire a manager who’s average at best and A pitching coach who sucks really. Fire Amaro,Manuel and Dubee. Sandberg as manager, bring up Burris as pitching coach and brign back Gillick as GM. Another move thats forgotten about is the cheap GM and ownership allowing Davey Lopes to walk!

  3. yolacrary - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    “Amaro very nearly single-handedly ruined Domonic Brown as well.”

    Come on, Bill, I’m no fan of Amaro, but this is dumb.

    • scotttheskeptic - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:12 PM

      No, the production that Brown is providing, now that he is playing everyday and has the corresponding at bats, demonstrates how badly he was handled over the past three years. Yes, Amaro DID nearly ruin Domonic Brown.

      • yolacrary - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        Incorrect. I suggest you revisit Brown’s timeline, including his multiple injuries.

      • paperlions - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:26 PM

        No, he didn’t. Brown wasn’t handled well, but the primary culprit was a broken wrist. In general, power hitters take about 12-18 months to get their power back after wrist injuries.

      • chip56 - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        So what you’re saying is that Brown could have been this effective three years ago and didn’t just take longer to become a good major league ballplayer due to his injuries and just the learning curve of being a ball player? That’s a foolish notion.

      • tfoz5150 - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:29 PM

        No, Brown was way too erratic back then to trust. Considering they were challenging for the N.L. pennant. He needed to be down at AAA to get his playing time.

      • ryanrockzzz - Jul 22, 2013 at 7:18 AM

        Hmm….It had nothing to do with Charlie Manuel also taking him in and out of the lineup, or the fact that he didn’t really have a good approach at the plate, like many young hitters do in their early 20’s? He also battled injuries as well. And it also had nothing to do with the fact the Phillies were a contending team the last few years, and couldn’t afford to just stick him in there and work it out, like they chose to do this year?

        I think Amaro deserves blame for shuttling him back and forth, but to say he deserves all of the blame sounds like the same drab I have to listen to on Philly sports talk radio.

    • chip56 - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      It really is a moronic comment

  4. chip56 - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    In defense of Amaro, if the guys who evaluate minor leaguers for Baseball America, ESPN or the other outlets were really that good at their jobs they would likely be working for major league teams and not Baseball America or ESPN…

    • Bill Baer - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:23 PM

      • chip56 - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:30 PM

        I said major league teams Bill – the Astros hardly qualify.

      • chip56 - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:31 PM

        Seriously though – you got one – out of how many guys proclaiming to be experts in evaluating minor league players and systems?

        You’re a stat guy – wouldn’t that qualify as an outlier to you?

      • Bill Baer - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:43 PM

        Baseball Prospectus is basically a breeding ground for future front office types or consultants for front offices. Kevin Goldstein, Mike Fast, Keith Law, Dan Fox, Keith Woolner, and I’m probably forgetting a few more. Tango and MGL have consulted for several teams. A bunch who have written for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times, and the like have been hired as consultants as well. Victor Wang and Sky Andrecheck, for example, are in the Indians’ front office.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:48 PM

        Tango’s working for the Cubs now, and Pizzacutter used to work for an MLB team as well until he went back to BPro. Josh Kalk who works for the Rays is another.

    • beantownphilliesfan - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:40 PM

      Chip, are all of these publications that incorporate the opinions of scouts and FOs wrong? If Keith Law were the only person speaking negatively about the Phillies farm system, then fine; you might have an argument. But the reality is that all of these publications (BA, ESPN,, fangraphs, BP etc.) are in agreement about Philly farm system devoid of talent. At some point in time, Amaro needs to be more self-reflective instead of immaturely attacking those with a negative opinion about the job that he’s done.

      • chip56 - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:46 PM

        I think that there are so many different scouts and personnel people looking at the number of players in the minors that what Law or Callis have to say about a specific player or team is irrelevant. If there are scouts from a team who like the players in the Philly system then the system is not dry.

        I’m not saying that this is the case – just that scouting and player evaluation is highly subjective and that it’s easy to make evaluations when there’s nothing on the line. Harder to do it when teams are basing their decisions on your evaluations and if these guys were that spot on in their opinions then teams would snatch them up as fast as possible.

      • chip56 - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        but the fact is that until Jeff Luhnow took over a team with absolutely nothing to lose, no GM has even hinted at hiring these writers for a major position within their organizations.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:06 PM

        but the fact is that until Jeff Luhnow took over a team with absolutely nothing to lose, no GM has even hinted at hiring these writers for a major position within their organizations.

        Keith Law says otherwise considering he went from BPro to the Blue Jays front office to ESPN.

  5. captrtp - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    RAJ failed with the first mortal sin of being a GM he let his team get old. Rollins was a dumb move and he should dump Utley after this year if they can’t trade him. Papalbon was a great move being Ryan Madson hasn’t pitched in forever. As for Howard he’s getting paid for the #s he put out at time of contract renewal nobody knew he was gonna blow a tire and at the time somebody would of paid him.

    • bleedgreen - Jul 21, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      They should have kept Ibanez. He’s cheap and still raking. They should have let Rollins walk and just rolled with Galvis. I know he got hurt, but still. Utley, they should keep. He’s still producing at a high level and he’s not THAT old. I’d keep Ruf and just platoon him with Howard. The pricetag is no different and Howard isn’t going to magically start getting BETTER again. Right field is the only area that has REALLY been a black hole since Werth walked.

      • scotttheskeptic - Jul 21, 2013 at 11:06 PM

        In my dream-world, Howard is traded, Utley is signed to a 2 year deal to play first (saves his knees). A run at Choo this off-season. Roll with Asche, Galvis, Hernandez, et al. Rollins is the piece that bugs me. As the tenured player, others take their cues from him, yet he stated openly years ago that he was not receptive to coaching, he often takes plays “off”, and for all of his talent is not a leader.

      • bleedgreen - Jul 22, 2013 at 7:51 AM

        Thats actually what I said. Roll with the young guys. If Utley is gone, Brown is your new non-pitcher ‘leader’ of this team. Rollins needs to go. Galvis can give us a .260 hitter with great defense for a lot cheaper and none of the headaches. I know Utley’s knees are supposedly toast, but that fucker moves pretty good and still runs pretty good despite it. Every time I see him behind someone on base, he’s only a few feet behind them by the time they hit home. Now, that doesn’t mean that they’re fine, I think that its just greatly exaggerated that they don’t work.

    • Reflex - Jul 22, 2013 at 2:11 AM

      Actually virtually every analyst said at the time the Howard deal was idiotic and he was likely to not age well. Furthermore, he would not have gotten paid at the time because he was still under contract for two more years. There was absolutely no sane reason to sign him to an extension at all. Quite frankly its the dumbest deal in baseball given not just the amount, but when it was offered and who it was offered to.

  6. andreweac - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    If your team needed to hire a new GM would you prefer Tony Reagins or Amaro? Tough call.

    • chip56 - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      In all these trades that Amaro has made – has he given up anyone who you would say has haunted the team? Maybe that’s an indication that they’re system isn’t good as the “experts” suggest or maybe it’s an indication that Amaro knows what he’s doing – could go either way with that?

      • macjacmccoy - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:21 PM

        You see Cozart pitch the other day? And watch out for Singleton. Both traded for Hunter Pence. And what about the crap we got for Cliff Lee or Victorino or Pence. None of them look like difference makers.

  7. norcalsportsknowledge - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    I think the list of the top 100 prospects is a joke. That’s why every year it changes drastically. He is right that MLB scouts rate the players differently than the writers and playoff teams will sandbag their prospects so other teams won’t ask for them in trades.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:05 PM

      That’s why every year it changes drastically.

      No they don’t. Short of top rated players graduating to MLB, it doesn’t change that often. Also, why is it a joke again?

    • tfbuckfutter - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      And also, how can their be a new People’s Sexiest Man Alive every year?

      Did Brad Pitt die? Did somehow Bradley Cooper become sexier in the last 12 months than Tom Cruise, who is also still alive? Sean Connery is still alive. He had to have been the Sexiest Man Alive at least once, right? So if he’s still alive, and is no longer the sexiest man alive then shouldn’t it be called People’s Sexiest Man Until Someone Sexier Comes Along?


  8. tfbuckfutter - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    “There’s just a lot of those lists that come out that make me laugh. I don’t see anyone working for any major-league clubs that do that with those lists. It’s interesting.”

    Yeah. Because CLEARLY you know what is going on.

    I said that sarcastically to highlight that you don’t actually know what’s going on, and also you don’t understand sarcasm because when you have to point out that what you’re doing is using sarcasm you aren’t sarcasming right.

  9. Bryz - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    Didn’t RAJ have this exact rant last season as well?

    (checks Google)

    Actually, prior to this season he pretty much said the same thing.

    • anthonyverna - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      Yes. That’s because the RAJ late-night talk show has as much deja vu as an episode of “Conan.”

    • scotttheskeptic - Jul 21, 2013 at 11:08 PM

      Yup, evaluating the farm system is over-rated, and free agents are signed based on 7 year-old scouting reports. That is our GM.

  10. schmedley69 - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Not an Amaro fan, but Dom Brown had major maturity issues on top of the injuries and the fact that he was a major defensive liability. Don’t know how Amaro could have helped him in any of those areas.

  11. toodrunktotastethischicken - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    As far as the bullpen goes, are there any legit upgrades on the market? Bastardo has been pretty reliable as of late and the two most recent callups Garcia and Ramirez have been holding down the fort lately.

  12. tcclark - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Anyone else realize the the one person Ruben Amaro wouldn’t trade from that great Phillies farm system is the only guy that’s producing at the major league level? He might not get the award for best gm, but maybe he knows a little more about baseball than we give him credit for.

  13. Jim Laubach - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Your comment that “Amaro has yet to attend a game at one of his affiliates…” is dead wrong. I know that because I’ve seen him in person at Lehigh Valley IronPigs games on numerous occasions, including this year.

    Funny how all those years the Phillies were dominating their division, no one had anything but praise for Amaro and how he continued to produce winners. Now that they’re finally an “average” team, everyone’s jumped the bandwagon. Well, it makes for great columns, I guess.

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