Apparently former Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was hoping for a higher position than that of first base coach, however, if he took a minute to consider what his current track record, both as a GM and as a former big league ballplayer, looks like from the outside he’d have to realize that he is in denial.
Still, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported last month that Amaro had retained Bob Lamonte, a prominent agent for NFL coaches and executives, to help promote him as a potential GM or manager to MLB clubs.
As a former player, Amaro Jr. spent eight years in the major leagues as an outfielder with the Angels, Phillies and Indians. He was a .235 career hitter in 485 games with those clubs from 1991-1998. He took over as general manager of the Phillies after their most recent World Championship in 2008.
Many consider him the worst GM the Phillies have had in quite sometime, however, I read an interesting argument today that said that one day Amaro might be the next Omar Minaya. Minaya took the blame for the Mets’ bad seasons but on his way out he acquired some good prospects that are now taking the Mets to the World Series.
Amaro may have refused to embrace sabermetrics and analytics, not even having a division for them in the Phillies’ front office. He may have asked exorbitant prices for players, a main example being Cole Hamels. It may have taken a couple of years and there are still no guarantees of how the prospects he got in return from the Texas Rangers in the Hamels deal will work out. If they end up working out like the young Mets team that is heading to the World Series Tuesday, then people may look at Amaro’s tenure as general manager quite differently than it is looked at today.
But as of today the Phillies’ ended the regular season with the worst record in baseball. Personally, I can not see good things happening for Amaro in the future, however, that is something that I would never say about Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane. It will take a few years for these trades – a superstar for a bunch of prospects – to pan out.
There is every chance that every prospect Beane got for Toronto Blue Jay’s AL MVP candidate will work out and Donaldson will fizzle out (or be a part of losing yet another important game) as there is that the trade will be a bust. It’s the same going with Amaro.
Perhaps one day the prospects he got from Texas will lead the team to another World Series – in which case Amaro’s legacy – like Minaya’s and perhaps like Beane’s will be seen in a different light. Until then you can look for Amaro when the Red Sox are up, manning first base.