Thursday, November 03, 2005

Ruben Amaro Jr. Feedback

from ben schuchardt:
"You haven’t adequately explained why you don’t think Reuben Amaro will make a good general manager some day. It’s not like you to skimp on objective facts. You’re one of the most brutally fair people I’ve ever met. I see some obvious qualifications even though I don’t know Amaro personally, don’t have access to his real thoughts, and can’t speak intelligently about his track record (he doesn’t have one). I like that he graduated from Stanford. I like that he speaks Spanish fluently (like most of the best players coming into the league). I like the fact that he won’t get lost traveling in South America (he wintered there as a player). I like the fact that he played at the major league level but was a scrub (the best combination for a major league manager or general manager). Stop with the Ed Wade thing. Amaro worked for Wade. What do you expect to hear him say about the guy that gave him a job? What would you say about your boss if Howard Eskin or someone of his ilk asked you? Yelling something loudly doesn’t make it true.

Assuming the Phillies hired a proven and competent baseball man to right the ship, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that part of his job description is to mentor his eventual replacement."
you're right, ben. i have skimped on facts regarding why i wouldn't be happy with ruben as a gm, and while much of my distaste for amaro is inherited from his association to wade -- what can i say, i'm human, by the end i disliked wade that much -- much of it is linked to one 20 second exchange i heard between him and the daytime guys on wip. i had to run to the bank one day, and while sitting at the drive through window, i listened to the wip guys grilling amaro about why the phils hadn't done anything at the trading deadline. amaro wasn't going into any details, the guys were complaining about how the fans deserve better, amaro responded by saying "don't you think we want to win? don't you think we're trying as hard as we can?"

none of that bothered me, i was only partly paying attention to it. what did bother me came next. one of the two wip guys asked him why they hadn't tried harder to trade pat burrell then asked if they had considered trading burrell to the giants for jason schmidt because the giants were in desperate need for a left fielder and were looking to unload schmidt. i think the wip guy said i bet you could have gotten schmidt and a player for burrell. amaro went silent for 10 seconds, and that pregnant pause told me volumes about this guy.

i interpreted that pause to mean one of two things:

- he panicked because he found some shred of reality in the wip guy's speculation and he sat there thinking "oh my god, why didn't we think of that".

- he froze because he couldn't think of a good way to respond

if it was the former then it tells me that he/ed wade/everyone else from the past administration lacked the imagination to have come up with that trade or didn't put in the effort to consider enough trade permutations.

if it was the latter then it tells me that his processor is not fast enough to respond when some pressure is applied.

either way, i wrote him off that day. you're right that he certainly looks the part of a GM. he has the background and "credentials" to do the job, but after that day i see him as someone who is more style than substance.

i may be wrong in my interpretation of the event and it's certainly possible that neither of the two reasons i listed above were the cause of his lockup. if so, i apologize to him, but that's the story behind why i am against having him become the gm.

just to clarify, i'm not saying i would have made the deal. i'm just saying that i didn't like the insight in to amaro's processing power. he got befuddled by two idiots when he could have easily just said "i can't comment on trade specifics or guys on our roster."

i think my position on amaro can be summed up by a line from the movie joe vs the volcano, "i know he can *get* the job, but can he *do* the job?"


Blogger The Big Dog said...

Ben is correct, Pete. However, I do see and understand your concern....maybe this is what is going through your mind....why the fuck did it take the Phillies the final 2 years to end Wade's disastrous term. This team's chemistry was so bad that a GM should have been embarrassed to put it on the field. If we had a competent GM, we had a chance to win despite or shortcomings. How can you look the customer in the eye and say that Charlie Manuel was better than Jim Leyland? How can you in good conscience cart out that starting rotation? How can you have a line-up with that many strikeouts, zero offensive production from a shitty 3B and have a catcher that can't hit, field, throw runners out, or call a game? Joe Blows like us could see that it's bad...why can't a man whose sole responsibility is to monitor that as a profession and earn a 6 digit salary to justify it? Wade was that bad...he was just pathetic. He was condescending, basically cut off any media that criticized him and in his send off speach patronized the fans by saying that (in a nutshell) he guessed that if not making the play-offs was a sign that he was a bad GM, then he guesses he was (sarcastically)...he also cried about how qualified he was and how he earned it, how did he earn that?...he was given a bunch of money and he did not do the #1 job of a GM, put the best possible product on the field to win a championship....I actually think that "on paper" Amaro is a nice fit. Look at it this way, forgetting Wade, he is a former player (earns player's respect) who is intelligent, speaks Spanish (my whole team would be Spanish speaking if I was a GM), has some charisma, is young and hungry. Plus he is from the area so he has that "hometown Philly passion". Plus his dad was an ex-coach in the organization. And, Gillick, someone who has earned the right to be a GM, will mentor him for an appropriate amount of time and erase all of the bad Ed Wade-isms. I think it is a great fit, just step back for a second and try to erase Ed from your mind. Next subject, why I don't have confidence in Andy Reid or Billy King.

8:51 AM EST  
Blogger Behan said...

There's no way the Giants trade Schmidt for Burrell. Burrell is a creation of Citizens Bank Park, he'd struggle mightily at PacBell and they already have two corner OFer's. And pitchers of Schmidt's quality are rare, but inconsistent power hitters who play the OF aren't. If Amaro paused, it was because he was thinking about popping Missanelli's balloon.

8:58 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

ben thinks i am reading too much into that 20 second cross section. maybe he's right. i have no other insight into amaro's capabilities and so i will try to reserve judgement, it certainly isn't fair to him. i don't know him from adam.

8:10 PM EST  

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