Aug 8, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr announces a contract extension for second baseman Chase Utley (26) during a press conference after the game against the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Cubs 12-1. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

David Montgomery backs Ruben Amaro and front-office

I guess only 30,000 fans showing up at Citizens Bank Park a night (and that’s the nice estimate), when we are just a few years removed from a multiple season sellout streak, hasn’t given the Phillies the idea that they need to make front-office changes.

Phillies president David Montgomery spoke to the media today, and it doesn’t sound like he is on-board with #FireRuben.

“I just believe that group of people gave us the successful period we had,” Montgomery said earlier this week. “They had different roles in it. I know people focus on Ruben’s role having changed vis-a-vis 2009 vs. 2008. But I talked to Pat Gillick about our club this morning. Pat Gillick sat in that entire draft. It’s not like we’re not benefiting from the thinking of the same people we had before. That’s why you have to look at whole body of work. Have we been served well? My answer to that is yes.”

So that not only gives us an idea about whether the Phillies plan on letting Ruben Amaro go, but it also seems to close the door on any potential dream-scenario of Amaro being fired mid-season and Gillick resuming his role as a general manager, even had it been on an interim basis.

Montgomery went on.

“I just try to pay attention,” Montgomery said. “I think we have pretty good people doing these jobs. We saw, over a long period, pretty good success with this group of people. Obviously, Ruben is part of that group.”

Ruben was part of that group. Part. Ever since he replaced Gillick as the general-manager, Amaro  has struggled mightily at his job. It would take thousands of words, words that I have seemingly said thousands of times, to go though all the mis-steps that Amaro has made as general manager. I’m not necessarily buying into the idea that the team has gotten worse every year of Amaro’s tenure, even though they technically have, but I’m more alarmed at the lack of direction and inability to evaluate personnel that this regime-largely Amaro-has displayed.

The Phillies have fallen off a cliff over the last two and a half seasons, and it isn’t like they have even gotten off the ground since falling. They haven’t started climbing back up the proverbial MLB mountain at all yet. But Montgomery thinks that under Amaro’s guidance, the Phillies could scale the entire mountain over the course of a couple years.

Montgomery did not want to apply the word “rebuilding” because, he said, “that word may mean things to certain people.” There is focus on the future.

“We’re constantly focusing on what our 2016 ball club will look like,” Montgomery said. “And that doesn’t have some of the names that are out there now. Now, when you’re planning and thinking about 2016, does that mean you’re thinking about rebuilding in 2014? Well, if you don’t move people, [a fan's] view would be, ‘No, they’re not rebuilding. They’re being stubborn.’

Why is it that this team is starting to feel like the Joe Banner-Andy Reid regime era. Time’s yours to discuss that one. 

[Phillies president endorses Ruben Amaro]

Tags: David Montgomery Philadelphia Phillies Ruben Amaro

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