The Philadelphia Phillies Shouldn’t Hesitate to Fire Ruben Amaro Jr.


I know, five-game winning streak. And for a brief period, it’s been enjoyable to watch the Phillies play some decent baseball. But while a five-game winning streak has been nice, the team is in the midst of it’s fourth consecutive non-winning season. And next year, they’ll probably be in their fifth, and their fourth overall losing season. That, well, that isn’t very fun.

How the Phillies use the 10th overall pick that they have in next month’s draft will go a great way in determining how quickly they are able to return to contention. At this point, Ruben Amaro Jr. will be at the helm of that draft. But when the team aims to move Cole Hamels later this summer, re-tool the club in the off-season and use an even higher draft pick in next year’s draft, Amaro probably shouldn’t be the club’s General Manager.

It’s become clear to me over the course of the past year that David Montgomery, not Ruben Amaro, was the person calling the shots in the Phillies front-office from 2009 to approximately early 2014. I’m not sure Montogmery made all of the poor moves that have put the Phillies in the hole that they are in, but he had a big part in them. Amaro, however, isn’t absolved from blame, because he was still presented as the face of the front-office and was one of the key members of the front-office during a stretch that turned a championship team into one that’s become a perrenial cellar-dwellar.

Amaro’s predecessor, the Phillies’ current interim Club President and the man who will ultimately decide his future as General Manager, Pat Gillick, will also be key in making vital decisions on the team’s future over the next few months. In a February interview on MLB Network Radio, Montogmery, who still remains in the organization as the Chairman, said this of the timetable for Gillick to remove Amaro from the General Manager position.

"“We think we have a pretty quality guy in that role. At the same time, I have a partnership group where they are looking at this closely as well. And the reality is we have a GM that we think is effective and we have a Hall Of Fame GM in our midst as well. And if Pat [Gillick] spends an entire year or two close with Ruben [Amaro], I think he’ll have a very good idea as to how effective Ruben is and collectively a decision will be made.”"

That sounds nice coming from Montogmery, but the Phillies don’t have “an entire year or two” for Gillick to monitor how Amaro handles an extremely important time for the club’s long-term success.

If Gillick feels like after the draft that Amaro isn’t capable of helping to turn this club into a championship contender again, then he shouldn’t hesitate to relieve him of his duties. Why let someone that you don’t believe in proceed over the Cole Hamels sweepstakes? Why allow him to run the club for another off-season?

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The scary part is you could have asked those same questions at this time last year. You could have asked those same questions after the season. With Montogmery pushed out of the President’s role, perhaps the first thing on the team’s agenda wasn’t Amaro. Now it should be.

I don’t think Ruben Amaro should be fired based off of how poorly the club has played this year or will next year. I believe Amaro should be fired if the club doesn’t feel that he can help put them back into a position to seriously contend within the next five seasons. If the organization planned to remove him simply based off of the downward direction that they had taken in his tenure as General Manager, they would have done so by now.

Admitedlly, the front-office is more privy to exactly what moves Amaro was responsible for in the downfall of a team that once appeared destined to be a permanent National League power. The reality of the position that the team is in right now is that they aren’t going to compete until late in this decade, at best. The Phillies shouldn’t rush a rebuild, they should take their time and do it correctly in the same way that the Astros and Cubs did. And if they don’t feel that Amaro is the man to lead them in that type of direction, they shouldn’t continue to tread water with him as the General Manager.

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