“My job is to keep all lines of communication open, for the good of the club today and tomorrow,” Amaro said. “I can’t shut any doors down. You try to be creative. And there are a lot of creative GMs out there who have different goals.”
Amaro first mentioned the possibility of the Phillies as sellers to CSNPhilly’s Jim Salisbury earlier Thursday. It sounded as if he was speaking out of frustration or trying to send a message to his players. But Amaro said he was only being realistic.
“If we continue to play like this and keep dropping out of the race, it’s going to be tough to be buyers,” he said. “The one way we can be buyers is by keeping our heads above water — if we’re five games out, seven games out, within striking distance, then yeah.”
–Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
It seems like just yesterday that we were sulking as the Phillies celebrated a World Series championship in 2008. They were led by Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, two young stars on the rise, poised to lead the Phillies to greatness for the next ten years. Ryan Howard was the next great slugger, hitting 48 homers and driving in 146 runs that year. They had Brad Lidge, who didn’t blow a save the entire season.
Since then, the Phillies have made a few great runs. In 2009, they fell short in the World Series to the Yankees, losing four games to two. Last year, they blew away everyone with a 102-60 record, but allowed the Cardinals to slip by them in the divisional round.
I didn’t think the Phillies would blow things up so early. However, the entire direction of the franchise has been determined by the health of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Without them, there is little to no chance that the Phillies could muster up another championship run.
What may keep the Phillies from becoming sellers is one man: Ruben Amaro Jr. Amaro is known to be a big spender. He may try to spend his way out of this mess. He was the one who traded for Roy Halladay. He was the one who stole Cliff Lee. And he was the one who dealt for Hunter Pence last season. There is a point where every GM has to realize that there’s no use in desparately trying to put together a team at the deadkinep but where that point is remains to be seen.
I don’t think he, or the Phillies, will go down without a fight.