PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Phillies have gone from World Series Champions in 2008, to two consecutive 73-89 seasons, compounded by a National League East last-place finish in 2014. Naturally, the man making the personnel decisions is going to be receiving the brunt of the criticism.READ MORE: Philadelphia Boys Choir Heads To Puerto Rico For First Trip Since Pandemic: 'It's Really Exciting'
That man is Ruben Amaro Jr., who is in a “lame-duck” situation, as he enters the final year of his contract as Phillies general manager.
“That’s a decision that is not up to me clearly, Al [Morganti],” Amaro said Friday on the 94WIP Morning Show, when asked about the lack of a contract extension. “I totally understand that you have to perform and we’re all being evaluated. Everybody is being evaluated every day. I mean, you guys get evaluated for your jobs and we get evaluated all the time in a more public way. I totally understand it, and at the same time I have great faith and great confidence that the people that I work with and work with me and the group of people that are helping us make these decisions, we know baseball. And we know what we’re doing. Even though that we’re not having the success we hope to have right now, this is part of the transition, and I believe in the people to make that transition.”
Listen: Ruben Amaro Jr. on the 94WIP Morning Show
On Thursday, Phillies President Pat Gillick explained while there are a group of people involved in personnel decisions, Amaro is ultimately in charge.
“I think Pat was pretty clear,” Amaro said. “We make decisions—and I don’t just make decisions in a vacuum. Now, I run the baseball organization part of the organization. That said, we all have to answer to someone and Pat is my boss, just like David Montgomery was my boss. And so, by in large, they’ve both given me a great deal of autonomy over the years, but these are all decisions that we make as a group. And I’m one of those guys that always tries to lead in a way where people have input and we make decisions in a large group.READ MORE: Man Killed In Road Rage Shooting In Springfield Identified, Authorities Say
In some ways, yes the buck stops with me and it some ways it doesn’t.”
There were a slew of talented Cuban players this past offseason available for Major League teams, and while many expected the Phillies to take a run at them to expedite the rebuild process, ultimately Amaro and the Phillies chose to stay away.
“The Cuban players, frankly, have not made enough of an impact for me to be able to say, ‘You know what, we absolutely should have gotten these guys. We absolutely should have gotten Rusney Castillo, absolutely should have gotten Yasmany Tomas.’ They’re as big of a risk, if not more, because they have not even played in the United States,” Amaro said.
“We had interest in all these players,” he continued. “The fact of the matters is, at some point risk out-weighs where we want to go with these guys as far as signing them.”
Amaro expects, in a big market like Philadelphia with a demanding and passionate fan base, this rebuild will happen quicker than expected.
“We’re going to have to get players that are going to impact us very, very quickly,” Amaro said. “And so, there’s no reason for us to be moving players that are really effecting are club in a positive way right now, for players that we’re hoping that will help us in four or five years. That doesn’t work for us.MORE NEWS: Portion Of Interstate 95 Southbound In Delaware County Closed Due To Crash Investigation
“Our job is, if in fact we are going to make major moves as far as making trades and such and turning over the roster, it’s going to have to churn quickly. We’re going to have to get players that will impact our club very, very shortly.”