When word came down that Ruben Amaro was being let go as Phillies GM and a press conference would be held to announce it, the natural instinct of the media was to cover or broadcast it or film it.
At WIP, sports yakker Josh Innes, showing the type of free thinking that annoys some in Philly and buoys others, called “cool it” to that. Why bother, he asked. The team is nothing more than a testament to fan apathy anymore, he claimed. Perhaps his station should skip broadcasting a live feed of the event, he propositioned.
Just the fact Innes put that out there was a clinching factor as to why Amaro is no longer running the show with Phillies player personnel, and he was right, if not, smart to do so.
As stated, ratings rule his world. Well, if no one has any interest in the Phillies, and from all accounts, very few do, then it would make no sense to use valuable air time on anything to do with them, including the much-anticipated dismissal of Mr. Destructo. Innes, if nothing else, was pointing out that sports, even his part of it, is a business.
It’s a shame Amaro never learned that and stopped being a fan. Instead he kept making decisions based on his man-crushes for the likes of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley while ignoring the slipping-into-the-abyss reality slapping him in the face for years.
Not sure I’m on board with Ruben Amaro's dismissal..
Yeah, yeah, he had to go. I get it. His performance paved the way. He dug his own grave as Phillies GM with a never-ending array of bad moves the likes of which are rarely seen in nearly impossible-to-fail business situations, almost single-handedly deconstructing the best team in the NL in incredibly expeditious fashion.
But he did so in such glorious, and often pompous, fashion that the man and his mission offered value, true entertainment value, long after the club had ceased to be relevant, even with the diehards.
He was, in a word, amazing.
What took the franchise decades to painstakingly put together, ol’ Rube ripped apart in, what, 3-4 years? Was it even that long? I mean, seriously, he took the reins right after the 2008 world-title parade supercharged by Chase Utley’s #WFC stupidity and the end-season decline began immediately.
The Phils reached the Series again in 2009, but lost. Next year, they fell one step shy of the Series. The next, one step shy of that step shy. Since 2012, they’ve been a rudderless ship unable to navigate even the most mediocre of waters.
On the field, that is.
Rube, if anything, had been the only source of “life” the club supplied, well, for years. Every misstep was followed by some sort of misspeaking by him. It was beautiful in its buffoonery, particularly brilliant when he’d shun the fans, then mock them for their lack of baseball knowledge and, finally, the coup de grace, reach out to them in some weird, “we’re all in this together” groveling sessions.
He’d go from arrogant snob thinking he knew it all when he actually knew very little to gracious, responsibility-taking caretaker and then back again while hitting every level of absurdity in between.
Think about it, though … have you really followed a single thing the Phillies have done on the field the past 2-3 seasons? Have they fired you up in some way, positively or negatively? With Rube, he didn’t even have to do anything and blood would be boiling at the thought of his next disastrous decision.
Seriously, who else would have had the foresight to hang onto an aging, injury-prone core 3-4 years longer than the Phillies should have and lavish members of it with massive contract extensions? Psst, Phils fans, take a bow on that one – he was catering to your wants and desires there.
Of course, he didn’t admit that then. He waited until you turned on him and started calling him out on things that not only ownership greenlighted, but, you, the paying masses, did as well.
Oh, the irony …
It took me awhile to get Rube and what he really brought to the table. I’d get ticked at his ego-driven, idiotic comments and his borderline brain-dead dealings. But, really, if anything, he was Philly, the fan. He represented everything about the non-playing part of baseball, sans business acumen. Consider him Exhibit A of what it would be like if Joe Blow ran the club as opposed to some boring figurehead such as, say, oh, Andy MacPhail.
Just wait, another few months of listening to that guy drone on, sucking the life out of each sentence, and you, too, will come to miss the Amaro Error.
It’s been real, Rube. Later …
- Jack Kerwin | email@example.com