As rumors begin to swirl over Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. possibly replacing Bud Selig as the commissioner of Major League Baseball, further revelations that the position is not a merit-based one continue to surface. The latest slight on Amaro? How about being ranked last out of 30 MLB teams when it comes to the GM position and the responsibilities that come along with it. Sportingnews.com had a cumulative review of all 30 general managers in the league and where they rank compared to one another. There were few surprises at the top, as bluebloods such as Billy Beane (Oakland), Ben Cherington (Boston), and John Mozeliak (St. Louis) fleshed out the top ten of the rankings. For the laughable figure calling the shots and signing the checks for the Phillies, there were apparently none more laughable.
30. Rubén Amaro Jr., Phillies
Amaro took over for Pat Gillick right after the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, and since then, it has been a direct downhill run. Philadelphia lost the World Series in 2009, lost the NLCS in 2010, lost in the first round in 2011, missed the playoffs in 2012, and fell under .500 in 2013. The next stop could well be last place, but even if the Phillies manage to avoid the cellar, Amaro’s attempts to build a team as if it is still 2008 have been baffling. After a year in which the Phillies were too old and broke down physically, Amaro actually made them older in the offseason. You almost have to double check that Tony Gwynn and John Mayberry are not actually their fathers.
It is woefully apparent how little the rest of the baseball world thinks of Amaro’s tenure. All of the normal clichés and criticism are present in their argument and, while it is only a harsh reminder of how miserable things have become, it is almost refreshing to have an unbiased source share our sympathies. They were able to avoid the normal ‘inherited a Ferrari and turned it into a Pinto’ metaphor, but got the general narrative down pretty well. Their final jab at Amaro, of course, centered around his penchant for bringing in aging talent on the decline. As a Phillies fan, I cannot help but hope that the league skims by this article when it comes to weighing their next candidate for the highest possible position in the league. Should Amaro Jr. remain in the hunt for the commissioner position, it would come as little surprise if a contingency from the city volunteered to run his campaign and front all expenses.