1.) Ruben Amaro, Jr. is no longer the decision-maker
Ever since taking over for Pat Gillick following our World Series victory, it has just been a slippery slope for Amaro.
Don’t get me wrong, Ruben has had his fair share of good moves. Whether it was the acquisition of Cliff Lee in the summer of 2009, or the acquisition of fellow ace Roy Halladay during the 2009 offseason, Ruben showed no hesitation in going after the big fish. However, the former GM had more negative moves, than positive. For instance, during that same deal that brought Roy Halladay to Philadelphia, it saw Cliff Lee head out to Seattle. It’s been said that there was no way for the Phillies to make it work having both Lee and Halladay on the roster together. But, let’s be realistic for a second. If you possess the opportunity to have two of the best pitchers in the game on your roster simultaneously, you find a way to make it work. I’m not here to speculate, but I’ve always wondered what would’ve happened in 2010, if the Phillies had Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, and Cole Hamels.
Instead, Ruben tried to cover up his mishap with Lee by further depleting the farm system to acquire then-Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt. Oswalt went 7-1 down the stretch for the Phillies, but turned in a rather poor 2012 (9-10, 3.67 ERA). The following year, Amaro’s destruction of our farm system continued with the acquisition of former Astros right fielder Hunter Pence. Pence put in just under a full season of play, tallying 28 homers and 94 RBIs before being traded to the San Francisco Giants in the summer of 2012.
While Ruben made quite a name for himself (good or bad) through trades, his real impact came in the way of contracts handed out. From Ryan Howard’s horrendous five-year, $125 million contract, to Cliff Lee’s $120 million contract handed out back in 2010, Ruben’s decision making really set the team back, both financially and personnel-wise.
With Thanksgiving now upon us, you can see that despite the trying times, there is still plenty to be thankful for as a Phillies fan. That being said, I would like to take a moment to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours! Stay safe, and have fun.