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Ruben Amaro denies that the Phillies have considered releasing Ryan Howard

Jul 25, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Getty Images

Yesterday Ryan Howard was benched and rumors sprung up about the Phillies trying to trade him. The day before it was reported that the Phillies were considering simply eating Howard’s contract and releasing him.

Today Ruben Amaro says that’s nonsense. From Jim Salisbury of

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. emphatically shot down reports that the organization is considering releasing struggling slugger Ryan Howard after the season.

“That is not something we are contemplating,” Amaro said Friday morning. “I don’t know where that’s coming from.

Well, the report came from sources who spoke to Salisbury the other day. And, while Amaro may not actually release Howard, how a GM can approach a problem like Ryan Howard without at least considering the idea of releasing him — it’s one of a couple of options obviously available to him — is rather curious. I realize he can’t exactly publicly say that he’s thinking about releasing one of his guys, but it doesn’t seem credible that the conversation hasn’t at least been had.

  1. chip56 - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Given that it’s Amaro I think it’s more likely Howard gets extended than released.

    On a WTF note that is related to the Phillies – Jody McDonald is a radio host on WFAN in NYC and also works in Philly. He was just asked about the chances of Marlon Byrd going to the Yankees and said, sure if the Yankees want to give up Severino for him.

    McDonald has often touted the fact that he’s an expert at making trades because his father was a major league general manager – by that logic I’m an amazing lawyer.

  2. flyinhighwithvick - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    “Sources”. There’s your problem right there.

  3. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Notice RAJ said that in the present tense. Salisbury’s sources said after the season.

  4. jrbdmb - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    In Amaro’s world veterans don’t decline or age they just continue to get better and better. I’m sure he thinks Howard will snap out of this any day now.

    • chip56 - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      He confuses ball players with fine wine.

      • paperlions - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        Even fine wines turn to vinegar if they are allowed to age too long.

      • chip56 - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        best thing about Amaro? He’s not the GM of my team.

  5. natstowngreg - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    Um, Ruben, the correct answer is, “We’re considering all options.” You must have forgotten that one, from the GM course at the Crash Davis School of Baseball Cliches(tm). Or, you skipped that class.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 25, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      That’s always his answer. That’s why I never believe his words about player moves until I see action.

  6. buddysguys - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Package deal Rubes and Howard for nothing. Just take them from us.

  7. penguins87and71 - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    The Phillies need to fire this joke of a GM! Even as a Pirates fan this guy has me pulling my hair out! Just acknowledge the rebuild.

  8. edelmanfanclub - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    He’s a bad GM, but he won’t tell the media his plans. Howard cannot hit anymore. He’s not worth a platoon.

    2012: vRHP .247/.333/.451 115 OPS+, vLHP .173/.226/.378 65 OPS+
    2013: vRHP .302/.357/.502 143 OPS+, vLHP .173/.218/.321 50 OPS+
    2014: vRHP .229/.314/.368 94 OPS+, vLHP .209/.275/.407 90 OPS+

    Look on the bright side, he was great vs righties last year and he’s actually showing improvement vs lefties this year!

  9. psunick - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    This item is a perfect example of trolling, Delaware. Craig must stay up nights looking for ways to troll Amaro and the Phillies.

    It’s entertainment, though; but also a reason to not take this site seriously.

  10. raysfan1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    I dislike Amaro as much as anyone, but of course he’s going to deny considering releasing Howard. He’ll deny it right up until he the Phillies do release him, if they do. He cannot say “sure we’ve considered it” when he’s the one who signed him to the extension in 2010. He cannot go the “we consider all options” route because that will be taken as confirmation and start the same media firestorm actual confirmation would. Either statement would also undermine what little trade chances the Phillies have.

  11. stupidusername - Jul 25, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Stop playing him every single day. That’s all. Stop batting him 4th, ever. I don’t even need you to trade or release him right this second (because everyone knows that gets nothing for the Phillies). I held out hope for awhile (before this season) as a fan that Howard could bounce back to something that’s not costing his team wins. The way he spoke yesterday about not worrying about his performance compared to his contract, and throwing in that it’s just a game and he has a beautiful wife and a kid and another on the way, the dude has absolutely zero interest in improving and does not care as much as he wanted you to think the other day when he said it was “frustrating.” He got his money. He got his life setup forever. His $25M monstrosity of a “home” is almost finished.

    Yesterday on 97.5 they played the clip of him saying all that while Lenny Dykstra was in the studio (say whatever about him, but he loved playing as much as anyone). He called it “disgusting.” Exactly how I felt. You can’t tell fans, ones who helped line your pockets, that baseball is pretty much secondary now. It’s a shame because he was so loved before in this city and I now will barely be able to stomach seeing him on the field. He got his money and has no reason to let his performance affect his life. He has no incentive whatsoever to improve. If you’re not bothered by your contract compared to your performance then why not give some back? The effort he puts forth is below average at best. At least try hard if your performance is that bad. Playing bad and giving poor effort is embarrassing. You’re embarrassing yourself. There is not much worse than a teammate that is not only playing poorly but also gives no effort.

  12. stan97 - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Like Nero who sat and fiddled while Rome burned, Amaro sits back doing nothing while one trade opportunity after another goes by the way side.

    He’ll probably sit there getting nothing done and wait to the last minute before pulling off some minor insignificant trade and then say there was nothing he could do.

    A competent GM would have already made 2 – 3 trades by now, and be working on several others but I doubt Amaro and his scouts even know the other teams minor league players well enough to know who to trade for.

    Trading deadline will come and go and it will probably be same old – same old.

    The word impotent comes to mind.




    adjective: impotent

    1. unable to take effective action; helpless or powerless.

  13. kingjoe1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    The only people who dont realize Amaro is way overmatched in his position are Amaro himself and team president Dave Montgomery. He has no idea how to negotiate or how to judge talent or when is it appropriate to stop trying for one more year.

    Amara has run the franchise into the ground. There is no magic bullet that will turn it around quickly yet he keeps hoping some GM is more stupid than he is and give him their farm system to replace the farm system Amaro has neglected.

    Any large corporation would have let Amaro go after failing to get a haul of prospects LAST July. The phillies attendance will be under 23k per game next year and ratings will fall as the new contract really starts to kick in. I guess when Comast finally decides to tell ownership to fix the team, then and only then will Amaro go.

  14. kingjoe1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    FYI – Phillies home attendance over the last 3 years(average) 44k (2012) 37K 2013 and 31k (2014)

    Would any company keep the manager with kind of drop off in customers? Okay maybe Blackberry…

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