By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — Phillies’ General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. chatted with the 94 WIP Morning Show on Tuesday and was asked about his thoughts on the team moving their core pieces and rebuilding from scratch.
“In our marketplace, and with what our fan base is all about, I don’t think [a total rebuild] is fair.” Amaro said. “I don’t think it’s fair to them. I don’t think it’s fair to our organization. I don’t think it’s fair to the players on the field.”
Those were strong remarks from the general manager renouncing the philosophy of rebuilding in an effort to appease the fans, the members of the front office and the players based on what is “fair,” to them.
The true question in all of this is what exactly does Amaro consider fair?
Amaro first analyzed it from the perspective of the fan base. In fairness to the fans, the Phillies appear poised to continue to try to put a team on the field that can in some way compete. A competing franchise would indeed be fair, but is this current group fitting the mold?
They are 8.5 games out of first place and 10 games under .500 in the worst division in the majors. They have been consistently inconsistent at the plate and despite their recent resurgence, their bullpen was nothing short of inept for the early part of the season.
Has the product displayed so far this season what Amaro considers to be fair? If the fans considered this to be fair, the ballpark would still be filled on a night to night basis.
Amaro then referenced the organization. One must assume that he means the coaching staff, front office and ownership. Perhaps, they see it as fair to continue to chase after contention that has not been the case for this team over the last three seasons. In all fairness, they must realize that their responsibility is to the fans, not themselves. Just because they are appeased by the product on the field, does not mean the fan base is buying what they are being sold as a valiant effort at putting a winning team on the field.
Lastly, Amaro addresses the fairness in relation to what a rebuild would mean for his players. What unfair circumstance would occur to them in light of a rebuild?
Players like Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard and Jonathan Papelbon may actually get moved to franchises with a legitimate chance to win in the immediate future. While some of the names in that group may favor staying in Philadelphia, you can not characterize them being moved to contenders as an unfair circumstance.
Then there are the youngsters like César Hernández, Darin Ruf, Cody Asche, Ken Giles and even Maikel Franco that we hear so much about helping the team when they reach their prime, who would have the opportunity to get substantial chances in light of a rebuild.
Consistent playing time, may indeed be fair to them and the crop of other, hopefully talented, young pieces you would add as a result of trades.
Essentially Amaro is viewing this decision as something that no one in this city—whether it be the fans, the team or the players—is on board for. But, is that the case?
Sometimes life isn’t fair. Necessary steps have to be taken regardless of whether it leaves everyone smiling at the end. It appears like the status quo could very well continue for the Phillies. Why? Because Amaro thinks it’s fair.
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