Ruben Amaro Has the World in His Hands
Carlos Ruiz, Marlon Byrd, AJ Burnett, Roberto Hernandez, and Chase Utley are all in their mid to late 30’s and all signed contracts with the Phillies. They’re also some of the best players on the team. Burnett and Hernandez have been solid performers for third and fifth pitchers with ERAs under 4.0. Utley (.338), Byrd (.296) and Ruiz (.284) have the Phillies top three batting averages.
However, the success of Amaro this first quarter of the season could be his best moment or worst mistake.
The Phillies are considered to be “in the race” and 19-22, but as far as I’m concerned they’ve over-achieved. This team is like watching your formerly badass WWII vet grandpa giggle at cat pictures on the internet. He’s your grandpa, but he’s not the man you knew. Attendance has proven that fans feel the same way with this mirage that Ruben has fielded in 2014.
The worst kept secret in Philadelphia is that the Phillies are averaging over eight thousand less people per game than last year. They’ve officially devolved from local heroes to an unbearable burden.
As a result of this tension between “success” and attendance, Ruben Amaro needs to make a decision: is this year worth it?
Is it worth wasting the trade value of your older players for the sake of loyalty? Is it worth wasting the prime of Cole Hamels? Is it worth alienating your fan base further?
Honestly, to him it may be. There’s nothing that Amaro has done during his tenure to show that he’s interested in the future as he consistently traded prospects for vets. He’s even openly admitted that he doesn’t do five year plans! In baseball! The slowest turn-around sport there is!
Just look at the future of the team and the neglect is apparent. Dom Brown, Ben Revere, Cody Asche, Darin Ruf, Phillippe Aumont, Tommy Joseph: all of these players were expected to lead the Phillies into the future and none of them seem capable. There’s no great new hope that the team can follow into a new era. The Phillies are screwed.
That’s where these recent signings come into play. By virtue of those players carrying the team, Amaro has stumbled upon lots of older players with inflated trade values. Utley Ruiz, Byrd, Burnett: all of these players could contribute to contenders in exchange for prospects. You add Cliff Lee and Jimmy Rollins to the mix of tradable players and suddenly a turd has become fertilizer. There’s hope for the Phillies filling stadiums with screaming fans again.
However, if there is hope for such a future the team needs to be destroyed this season. If they hit the trade deadline without tearing the team apart we won’t have witness just the end of an era, we’ll have witnessed the death of a franchise.
So your move, Ruben. Is this year worth it?
Follow us on Twitter @TheWooderCooler
Follow Vince @VQuinn_TWC
Posted on May 22, 2014, in Phillies, Posts, Vince Quinn and tagged aj burnett, carlos ruiz, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, marlon byrd, Phillies, Ruben Amaro. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.