Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. isn’t making many friends in Philadelphia these days, at least not after bashing the fans who support his franchise. Amaro recently said that Phillies fans “don’t understand the game” and “don’t understand the process” of rebuilding.
Amaro later apologized for these comments, saying he chose his words “incorrectly” and “poorly.”
Yeah. . .
Phillies fans already didn’t like Amaro. Now they probably loathe him.
“Yeah, the Phillies, they’ve been looking for reasons to try to keep Ruben Amaro Jr.,” Bleacher Report MLB columnist Scott Miller said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I think they’ve given him way more rope than he probably should have had in terms of trying to turn that team around. He finally traded Jimmy Rollins over the winter to the Dodgers, but the core of that team, he hasn’t been able to trade anyone else. Cole Hamels remains a Phillie. Cliff Lee was going to be a reasonably good trade chip and he held on to Cliff Lee too long and now Lee is on the disabled list with an elbow injury. There’s been no progress. There’s been only regress in Philadelphia. It’s been a nightmare.”
Amaro apparently told Ryan Howard over the winter that it would be best for both sides if Howard were traded. Yet, Howard, 35, has gone nowhere. He’s hitting .261 and leads the team in home runs (10) and RBIs (24), but the Phillies are 19-29 and nine games back of the Nationals (27-19) in the NL East.
At some point, you’ve just got to make some moves, right?
“He has not been able to pull the trigger on any meaningful deal at all,” Amaro said. “And yeah, this might be the last straw for him. When you call out your own fans and say they don’t know anything – especially those hardcore, hard-edged East Coast fans, (that’s not a wise thing to do). They seemed to be okay in ’08 and ’09 when the Phillies went to back-to-back World Series and won one of them. The fans seemed to be pretty good, didn’t they?”
Hamels, meanwhile, is easily the biggest trade chip in the rotation. The 31-year-old is 5-3 this season with a 2.98 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and has 46 strikeouts in 66.1 innings. Hamels has been trade bait for years, but nothing has happened. It reminds Scott Ferrall of Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics.
What are the Phillies waiting for?
“That’s the thing,” Miller said. “Granted, he doesn’t want to give Cole Hamels away. Granted, Cole Hamels is your biggest trade chip and if you’re going to rebuild that team – and it’s what the Phillies look like they clearly need to do – you need to kickstart that rebuilding program with a blockbuster trade in which you get a number of good pieces back. Cole Hamels is the avenue to go do that. But if you can’t pull the trigger on something – you’re going to ask high, but eventually, you’ve got to come to some kind of a deal. And they haven’t been able to do that yet.”