By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Jonah Keri has never shied away from what he thinks about the Phillies, or their general manager Ruben Amaro.
He wrote in March that they need to ‘tear it down,‘ and build for tomorrow. In March of last year he noted that the Phillies offense is a ‘rising concern,” and that their potential upside pales in comparison to their ‘much broader downside.’
He has made it clear he thinks that Ryan Howard’s contract is an albatross, and Jonathan Papelbon’s is at the very least a big mistake.
Once again, Keri has chosen not to mince words when talking about the Phillies.
“GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and his bosses are either delusional, in denial, terribly misguided, or all of the above,” Keri writes in his NL East trade deadline preview. “Sure, making drastic changes to a team that’s ascended to elite revenue-generating status thanks to big crowds and a pending TV megascore carries risk. But so too does clinging to a group of fading veterans and watching them limit the Phillies to a string of 75-win seasons.”
Keri then notes that the Phillies at very least should trade Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Jonathan Papelbon to help clear salary and retool the farm system.
It is easy to look back on some of the deals that Amaro has been at the controls for and say that they weren’t the right moves. In this case, Keri made it clear while they were happening that they not only didn’t give the Phillies that much better a chance at winning at the then present time, but they could make future years much tougher than they need to be. That could all be coming to fruition.
The fate of the Phillies success, and quite possibly Amaro’s job will come down to this year’s trade deadline and the upcoming off-season. If past results ends up being an indicator of future performance, I can’t say I’m terribly optimistic.
It will be interesting to see how he performs.