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David Mayhew and Jesus Christ on Ruben Amaro

Posted by Michael Baumann, Sat, July 30, 2011 02:30 PM | Comments: 106
Opinion, Posts

"Consider the lilies of the field..."

Ruben Amaro, believe it or not, has much less of a vested interest in the Phillies’ long-term health than you and I. You see, even though, at age 46, he’ll be physically capable of running the Phillies for two decades, his attachment to the team comes from his five years with the organization as a major league outfielder and subsequent 13 years, up to and including today, as an assistant GM and general manager. It’s a professional association, the likes of which you might have with the law firm, or gas station, or department store, or accountant’s office that you work for. Because Amaro serves at the pleasure of the Phillies’ ownership, that association could (but almost certainly won’t) end tomorrow, or it could last another ten years. Nevertheless, Amaro is invested in the team for the duration of his career, however long it is.

You and I, however, are invested, as fans, for the duration of our lives. I’ve already put eighteen years into this franchise, and, God willing, I’ll put in fifty or more years of fandom in the future before I shuffle off the mortal coil, and I imagine that many of you are the same. In a sense, we ought to care about this team in a longer term than its players, its management, and perhaps even its owners do.

This is all a very roundabout way of saying that the trade the Phillies made last night, sending Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid, and a player to be named later to the Astros for outfielder Hunter Pence, is an example of how aware Ruben Amaro is of his own professional mortality. Considering how ballistic I went yesterday about the possibility of trading for Pence, you might be curious about what I think about the trade. Well, let me say that if I could copy-and-paste Matthew Pouliot’s take on the trade over at Hardball Talk and use it as my own, I would. That’s exactly how I feel. However, there is something to be said for not giving up Domonic Brown. It certainly moves the trade, in my mind, from homicidal rampage-worthy, to a D+. Of course, the scuttlebutt is that Domonic Brown will be sent to the minors to make room for Pence, while the team would be better served by sending Ben Francisco or Ross Gload down and benching Raul Ibanez. So maybe that lowers the grade to a D for the time being. Either way, not the end of the world.

What this trade does prove is that Amaro, and indeed most individuals whose job security is tied to public opinion, is more concerned with the present than what happens a few years down the road. Yale University professor David Mayhew, one of the leading minds in American electoral politics, wrote the following in his 1974 book Congress: The Electoral Connection:

“Fenno assigns three prime goals to congressmen–getting reelected but also achieving influence within Congress and making “good public policy”…Anyone can point to contemporary congressmen whose public activities are not obviously reducible to the electoral explanation…Yet, saints aside, the electoral goal has an attractive universality to it. It has to be the proximate goal of everyone, the goal that must be achieved over and over if other ends are to be entertained. One former congressman writes, ‘All members of Congress have a primary interest in getting re-elected. Some members have no other interest.’ Reelection underlies everything else, as indeed it should if we are to expect that the relation between politicians and public will be one of accountability.”

This is why pork barrel spending happens, and why both parties will leave political problems unsolved for the sake
of having an electoral drum to beat on the campaign trail. In politics, the common good often runs counter to the primary goal of reelection, but in baseball, this is not the case.

The men who own the Phillies, Amaro’s employers, are in the business to make money. In return for their money, the Phillies’ fans and sponsors expect wins, or at the very least, entertainment. The entire baseball operations side of the team, from Amaro to Charlie Manuel to the players, scouts, and medical staff, was hired for the purpose of pursuing the aforementioned money-making wins. If Amaro fails, or anyone in baseball operations fails, at achieving that goal, he will be fired, as evidenced by the team’s recent dismissal of Danys Baez.

Of course, through two years and change at the helm, Amaro has won two division titles and one NL pennant, and is on pace to repeat those results this year. By anyone’s standards, he’s been doing a great job of fielding a winning team, and the attendance and financial numbers back that up. However, Mayhew’s theory looms large over Amaro, who must continue to win in order to keep his job. The acquisition of Pence, for the immediate future, absolutely and unquestionably makes the Phillies a better team in the short term, and increases their chances of winning the World Series this year, at the expense of doing so for a long period of time in the future.

What’s at work here could be the kind of mentality detailed by Phuture Phillies here. To oversimplify the argument (you really need to read the post to fully understand it), to a big-market team, prospects are largely fungible currency to be traded for known stars, and that that process is a sustainable one, allowing a team such as the Phillies, Red Sox, or Yankees to continuously roll over its roster and contend indefinitely. I agree with the premise of that argument, though not unreservedly (for instance, it would have been hard for the Red Sox to roll over from their World Series team in 2004 to 2007 if they’d traded Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon, and Kevin Youkilis as prospects for only above-average veterans). I think a far simpler logic is at work here, and, funnily enough, it has divine underpinnings:

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” –Matthew 6:34

I would never accuse Ruben Amaro of purposely throwing away the Phillies’ chances at winning the 2015 World Series, saying “Let the next guy deal with that mess.” However, there is a sense of “tomorrow will take care of itself” in trading two potential stars for a player who is merely adequate. Singleton and Cosart contributed nothing to the Phillies this season, and likely would not contribute significantly for another couple years. So why not cash them in for someone who would? That way, Ruben’s solved an immediate problem by creating one that he has about three years to deal with.

Of course, I’d argue that the problem he solved was not concerning enough to excuse the one he’s created, but from a standpoint of winning in the near future, Ruben’s done well. He’s not being judged on the distant future until that future happens, if he’s even judged on it at all.

Trading for Hunter Pence is the action of a man who is, for whatever reason, more concerned with comparatively small problems in the present than big ones in the future. To be clear, that’s not a statement that carries any normative weight; it’s simply a statement of fact that illustrates how Ruben Amaro operates. There’s nothing wrong with putting off future issues, as long as those issues are dealt with in their own time. Christ may have said that tomorrow will take care of itself, but He didn’t say anything of the kind about the 2014 Phillies.

Avatar of Michael Baumann

About Michael Baumann

Michael Baumann has written 229 articles on Phillies Nation.

Michael is a graduate student at Temple University who lost his childlike innocence when, at the age of 6, his dad let him stay up for the end of Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. Unsettled by the Phillies' recent success, he has threatened over the years to leave the team he loves if they don't start losing again, but has so far been unable to follow through. Michael spent 4 years as an undercover agent in Braves territory at the University of South Carolina, where he covered football and soccer for The Daily Gamecock before moving back up north. He began writing for The Phrontiersman in June 2009 before moving to Phillies Nation in January 2010.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 J.D. Lombardi

    Sorry, but I’ve got to wholeheartedly disagree with you on this one. We’ve got Howard locked into 1B until what, 2017? Singleton would be 25 at that point and were he a true quality prospect at the position, would be knocking on the major league door earlier than that. Our Phillies made their bed with Howard so any prospect that is in the system and not being taught a secondary position is trade bait. In terms of Kosar, it is nice that he started the futures game but the boy is 21 and in single A. Single A! Again, were he a true blue-chipper he’d at least be higher in the rungs. But we’ve also got Halladay and Lee locked in for what, 5 years each? Hamels is sure to get an extension and Vance, if he is what he seems has that 4th spot locked up too. So you’re complaining about ditching someone who on our team could ONLY be a 5th starter in the next five years, which would put Kosar at 22-26 which would be pretty damned old for someone being spoken of so highly to come up.

    Pence will play here every day – barring injury – for the next two and a half seasons without the Phils extending him and that is much more than the kids will have ever provided us. So calm down and watch our boys try to build a dynasty NOW.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chris

    You need to calm down cuz. So we traded 2 potential guys for a 2 time all star who bats .300, is 26 and is cheap for the next two years. If we had done that for Beltran, I would be on board with your argument. This is also an important move in that we needed an outfielder for next year anyway. You also have a very short memory when it comes to ruben. He traded lee away for prospects.

     
    • Posts: 0 gr

      Well, a few things: Pence is 28 not 26 and will not be “cheap” the next two years. He’s at $6.9 mill this season after winning arb, and will likely win $8-10 mill in arb for 2012 and following that progression, $11-14 for 2013 in his finally two arbitration years. Ruben may decide to buy out those years for a 5-year deal, but that’s probably going to cost something like 5/60 to do. So, he essentially places Ibanez on the payroll.

      While Pence does hit around .300, he also slugs less than Ibanez, so what the team got in return is a slightly better version of Polanco at the plate. He’s not the best fielder, but has a good arm. Overall, he’s not as good as Werth last year, but better than Werth this year.

      I don’t hate the trade nearly as much as if Brown has been included, but losing Singleton, who if he can play LF after his ankle heels, would have been the org’s best homegrown slugger since Howard, is a drag.

       
      • Posts: 0 Devin

        Singleton was NOT playing LF, if you look a little bit (research a bit) you’ll see exactly why. I’m not gonna do the legwork for you. You can find the answer to why he was not gonna play LF with very little research work.

         
      • Posts: 0 The Howling Fantods

        The plan was to move him back to LF in the off season so he could spend time just working on his hitting while at 1B. Try doing some research of your own, Devin.

         
      • Posts: 0 Devin

        From what I’ve read he’s been unimpressive in LF.

        “Singleton is the team’s best hitting prospect, but he is a man without a position that likely wouldn’t make an impact in the next five years. Why? Because of that Ryan Howard fella’. Neither can play the outfield … Singleton failed to impress in left field the way Howard did once upon a time when Jim Thome was here.”

        A plan is just that, a plan, doesn’t mean it’s gonna work out, otherwise Howard would be playing the outfield right now instead of 1B.

         
      • Posts: 0 gr

        OK, I see. Devin knows everything the org will do that will not work out in the future, based on one unattributed quotation that he copied from somewhere, in argument over a point I never actually made. I should have realized what I was doing wrong there, even though nothing I stated was factually incorrect.

        Singleton is a 19-year-old stud playing a level above his age and doing very well. The org has no other power bat in its system at the moment. He’s 3 years away from the majors, most likely. Maybe he can learn to play LF or maybe he has to play 1B. I repeat: its a drag to lose him.

         
  • Posts: 0 Jay

    Sorry but Ruben grew up a Philly fan and has way more invested in the team then you. His father played for and coached the Phillies, Ruben play HS ball at Penn Charter right outside of Philly.
    Ruben is a life long Phillies fan and has Philly blood running through his veins.
    He grew up in the Phillies organization while you did not!

     
    • Posts: 5 byosti

      Avatar of byosti

      So the fact that Amaro has had more opportunity in life than pretty much any other Phillies fan, gives the writer no credence?

      And I don’t think arguments can be made if you’d don’t know basic facts like the name of one of the key prospects being traded or the age of the player you’re getting. I can say Howard is 23 years old, it doesn’t make it true.

       
    • Posts: 3 AshburnStadium

      Avatar of AshburnStadium

      I’m surprised that you didn’t mention that Ruben Amaro, Jr. was also a Phillies player as well.

       
  • Posts: 0 jms

    Absolutely biased article full of speculation and hearsay. You write as if these kids were lock to ever live up to your expectations as our leaders in 2015 world series. Ignoring the fact we have howard in the way of 1b for the forseeable future and a 23 yr old prospect who is CURRENTLY dominating the big league. Paired with the fact we still have our top prospect in brown. This team is built for now it is built to win multiple championships and go down as Philadelphias most dominant baseball era in history. You should write for Houston you sound like ed wade trying to reason himself into these trades. Also hunter pence is a 2 time all star who already has the hghest avg on our team. He is our starting rf for the next 3 yrs at least. I wouldn’t call that short sighted at all. This article was one of most misinformed piece of rambling horsesh*t I have ever read.

     
    • Posts: 0 Devin

      Unfortunately I can never get on board with what Michael Baumann writes. He’s far and away my least favorite writer on this site, reason being he all too frequently posts low quality, bias filled stuff like this.

       
      • Posts: 0 EricL

        Let me translate what you just said: “I don’t agree with his Baumann’s conclusion, so he’s a big poopy-head.”

        The argument he makes has merit. Amaro overpaid for Pence to address a need that was essentially non-existent.

         
  • Posts: 0 gmuny2002

    And if Amaro stood pat; you’d hear the screams up and down the entire Delaware Valley! Pence ensures that Howard will be pitched to which hasn’t been the case ever since Werth left for the $$$! This may be another championship move by Ruben, give the guy a chance for cryin’ out loud! I think he’s a very capable GM and don’t forget Gillick’s still an “advisor”, don’t you think Amaro called Gillick on his celphone and asked for his input?!

     
    • Posts: 0 Watrick

      Guarantee’s that Howard will be pitched to? Like, say, as the final out of a NLCS deciding game? Oh goody, can’t wait to see what happens there.

       
      • Posts: 0 jcfprint

        The Phillies have 57 games left in the season. That amounts to approximately 200 ab’s for Howard. With Pence, Ibanez or Victorino hitting behind him I think both his BA and OPS will be going up.Given that he is a streaky hitter I think his average will go up 20 points and his home runs should total 16-20 in the August and September.

        I think Ruben has done a great job.

        Mike the players traded are PROSPECTS not major leaguers.

         
  • Posts: 0 Watrick

    I totally agree with this post. Furthermore, I’d say you could add that the Phillies recent success, this year alone, wouldn’t be what it is without the help of Vance Worley, Michael Stutes, or Antonio Bastardo. While they are not MVP candidates like Pedoria and Ellisbury might be, they have been vital cogs for the teams success, that has been built by it’s pitching, not its offense.

    And Chris, if 10 million dollars and arbitration for a couple years is cheap, that’s even more proof that this Phillies team is no where near the Phillies team I grew up with. And why don’t people remember that every team needs All-Star representation? How many All-Stars were there this year, anyway? 85. That’s nearly 9% of all major leaguers were All Stars this year. So, he was part of that 9% by being the best player on a completely last place team-last in both leagues. If he’s so good, why wasn’t he representing the team the other 2 years he’s been in the league? Oh wait, that’s right, he’ll be better because he’s on a better team. I highly doubt that.

    Do I think this makes the team better, yeah, I guess. I’ve never been blown away by the guy that falls in the outfield a lot. It isn’t an error when you fall backwards about 15 feet from where the ball lands, remember. He’ll take a lot of ugly routes, and hopefully his speed will make up for that, kind of the way Victorino’s speed makes up for his inability to read the ball that well right away.

    Anyway, I’m glad my team got better, and that the team made a move to let the players in the dugout, who will actually be the driving force behind whatever success or failure in the post season, know that the company wants them to succeed, too. I’m still not sold on the cost, though.

     
    • Posts: 0 Devin

      “kind of the way Victorino’s speed makes up for his inability to read the ball that well right away.”

      Now where have I heard this before? OH RIGHT! This is almost a word for word quote of something Michael Baumann wrote a while back. Michael Baumann, is that you hiding under this fake name? Hah!

       
      • Posts: 0 Watrick

        Nah, This is Watrick Poods, @mrpoods on twitter. Believe it or not, but I am someone different, and I don’t agree with you. Maybe that make only 2, but it is true.

         
  • Posts: 0 Tom

    I agree with everyone except the author!! The Phils used to throw that “We’re a small market franchise” crap at us for years!! This team is built to win now, and if you win now, you will generate the revenue to allow you to keep winning in the future!! Prospects, especially those at the Singe-A level, are not sure fire major league talents!! If you want to compete in today’s game with the elite financial teams, i.e. Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Rangers, you have to act like an elite team!! In case he reads this article, congrats Reuben for doing the right thing!!!!

     
    • Posts: 0 EricL

      Yes, if they win now, with Hunter Pence, it’ll assure that they have a good record and sell-out games, something they were incapable of prior to these moves.

      The goal of a franchise is to win as many championships as they can infinitely, not to leverage everything they have to win a championship this year or next. This move may slightly increase their odds this year, but wasting value like that decreases their odds over the next 5-10.

       
      • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

        Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

        “leverage everything”? Are you serious? Ok, maybe they gave up some UNPROVEN NON MLB READY PROSPECTS, but “leverage everything? You mean, we only had 2 players in the Minors who are worth anything? Hmm. It’s called research…Do it.

         
  • Posts: 64 bacardi

    Avatar of bacardi

    Four players is a bit much. If we would of got Pence an say another of their prospect back or something besides the 1 Mil in cash.

     
    • Posts: 0 Devin

      2 players of actual consequence, 1 of which was blocked until 2017 anyway. The other 2 players are just garbage throw ins with very very little value.

       
  • Avatar of Dropped Strike Three

    Certainly interesting to read the counter opinion… I think the issue with Singleton is that Amaro was negotiating from a point of weakness no matter who the trade partner would have been. With Howard blocking him and his outfield attempts seeming to yield disappointing results, Singleton had no value with the Phillies and every other team had to know it. Amaro had no leverage in trying to package him regardless of how talented and highly touted he is. Or at least that’s how I see it…

     
    • Posts: 81 PhP54

      Avatar of PhP54

      Yup, Singleton would not have a place with Howard at 1B for 50 years LOL. I think Cozart hurts more, in my opinion. That is why I wrote what I wrote below. Where we need to go young in ’12 (or now if Raul cools down), is LF, and we will have those pieces, I believe.

       
  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    I have absolutely no problem with this trade. Singleton is a good bat but was not going to go anywhere in the Philly system. Cosart has a good arm but also has some issues. He is by no means a sure thing Cy Young award winner in the future. Josh Zeid I never heard of before today and it can be reasonably assumed that I will have never heard the name of whoever the player to be named later it. Is this a risky trade? Yes but lets be honest here it was the Astros who took the biggest risk. The Phillies at least know they will have a very solid (at worse) player to play in right field for the next two and a half years.

    The Lee trade, the Oswalt trade, the Halladay trade, and now the Pence trade. In every major trade that Ruben has done some have decried the fall of the farm system yet we are still producing solid players that are contributing like Bastardo, Stutes, and Worley. I do not have any regrets about the Lee, Oswalt, or Halladay trades and I have a gut feeling that I am not going to regret the Pence trade either.

    In any case, we won’t know for sure for a couple of years so everyone just relax and enjoy the ride. World Champions or bust!

     
  • Posts: 81 PhP54

    Avatar of PhP54

    Wow, great post. My opinion though is prospects are just that – a crap shoot. Yes, sometimes you throw away talent for nothing, but Mike Piazza and Albert Pujols were no where close to the top and they had good careers. I am of the mindset to win now. If Ruben is there for some time, we may be winners for a while. We have 2-3 more with this core, so we have time.

    Bottom line is we need to let the older folks walk, with two exceptions: pick up Oswalt’s option if he wants to play since we don’t have an obvious replacement and yes, re-sign Jimmy (he may not be what he was, but we don’t have an obvious replacement and the market will stink unless you want Jose Reyes wearing #7 for a lot of money). Then keep the younger folks and bring up some talent in September if they’re ready. With Sandberg at AAA I think we’ll see a better product than what we know.

    Bottom line, I think we will be OK. We can afford this now, but we HAVE to keep an open mind after the season. RAJ has made some great moves both in December and July. I expect that will continue.

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    I think that the front office gets it… we don’t have endless pockets but we do have the willingness and ability to fill holes. We have to prioritize certain prospects but we can’t get infatuated with them, either. Case and point – two of the finest Phillies pitching prospects in recent memory, Kyle Drabek and Carlos Carrasco. Not saying they won’t pan out (Carrasco has been decent this year in stretches) but we were able to parlay those guys into Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee… sort of and indirectly but would you rather have Carrasco and Drabek or Halladay and Lee because if we decided to hold onto both of them, we would have dedicated two spots in the rotation for them. Of course, you have to prioritize needs and make due where you can. To me, Dom Brown is necessary because he’ll fill the need when Ibanez leaves… you can’t have all-stars at every position and you have to use the players you’ve got on the farm to fill needs. Brown takes over as the every day LF next year and bats 7th and we pay him pennies… we can live with that. If we trade Brown then we’d have to pay major league money for a LF and figure out how we’re going to re-sign J-Roll, Madson, etc. and stay within our budget. As for replacing Howard (the loss of Singleton)… Howard’s our guy now and for the forseeable future. I’m confident that we can farm another 1B (Larry Greene, maybe). If not, then we’ll see what the free agent market looks like in 4 years and what we have on the farm. Right now, the forseeable future (the next four) years seem very clear and bright.

     
  • Posts: 0 PhillyN8V

    Love reading this counter opinion to the current Phillies upper management direction. It’s not that I agree or disagree. In many ways, I see the opinion and the arguments made for the sake of it as accurate to a “certain extent”. Especially if we take this argument as an overall statement of how Amaro has treated the trade deadline for Oswalt, Lee, and Halladay as well as the newest version of Pence.

    However, what I will say is that Singleton was said to be going backwards since being promoted, and there is no saying he would be able to make it to the bigs any time soon, if ever. And then there is the simple fact that even if he did reverse his current degradation and improved to being able to be considered for the Triple A and beyond, he has Howard blocking his path for quite a few years.

    In the case of Cosart, we had a fireball pitcher with proven stuff, but there is no saying his arm would hold up, his mechanics still needed refining for his arm to last into a promotable starter in the bigs. Just take a look not too far south to the situation with the Nationals. Then we also take into account that Cosart was an excellent late round draft selection. We didn’t bankrupt the baby aces, we didn’t give up Worley or Brown and we got a RH batter and RF that will be able to solve our outfield for at least 3-5 years.

    This was NOT a bad move overall for an obvious need that fills holes for several years. Now going back to the writers argument, there ARE quite a few examples of giving up major talent that would make a huge impact on our team in the future. So far we’ve given up any talent at catcher, middle infield and the hot corner to the point where our farm system has almost nothing to produce in the near term and we have Polanco, Utley and Rollins coming up on health issues and/or decrease in talent levels (in the case of Polanco and Rollins specifically), and Ruiz has no one in the farm system to consider for his position (and he’s suffering more frequently). Oswalt has major back problems and will have a requirement of contract negotiations upcoming. So…. again I don’t disagree with the writer when we look at the overall issue and not just examine this one trade but all of Amaros trades in his tenure.

     
    • Posts: 0 EricL

      But what was the “obvious need?”

      Pence is a better hitter off of right handed pitching, and doesn’t have much power. He bats right handed, but that’s doesn’t mean he’s got elite skills against left handed pitching. And his numbers against good pitching, the likes of which he’ll be facing in the playoffs, is not anything special either. His career line off of Lincecum is 3-22 with 8ks. Hell, Victorino is a much better right-handed option in the 5th spot than is Pence.

      He’s not a material improvement over Brown, and since that’s the person he’s replacing in the lineup, it’s essentially a wash talent-wise, that costs some very valuable pieces.

       
      • Posts: 2068 Brooks

        Avatar of Brooks

        Come on Eric – can you name any power hitters that have come out of Houston in the past say 30 years? Not many for sure. This guy consistently hits 25 hrs if not more in the cavern.

        Pence is a large dude, his average is getting better each year. In this environment hitting 5th for a team that DOES get on base (believe me I am well aware of the season long offensive woes but also quite aware of how many chances that were placed in front of D Brown) his numbers should improve in power and RBI. Dare we mention 30/100?

        OK, before getting too carried away, he definitely is an improvement over what we had going in RF. He led the league in OF assist 2 year out of his short career so far. So defensively and offensively the Phils should be settled for the next few years if he remains on tract.

         
      • Posts: 0 EricL

        That’s the most nonsensical thing I’ve ever heard.

        Pence is a power hitter because Houston hasn’t had any legitimate power hitters?

        First, it makes no sense. Second, it’s completely erroneous. Carlos Lee, Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman, etc. All 30+ HR, 100+ RBI guys. Pence has done neither. And Minute Maid Park is generally in the top tier of hitter-friendly parks. ( http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor/_/sort/HRFactor )

        Pence being a “large dude” is irrelevant. And where he bats is also irrelevant. The Phillies already had a better 5-hole hitter in Victorino, especially against left-handed pitching. The Phillies “season long offensive woes in front of D Brown” are non-existant. The Phillies, since the return of Chase Utley, have scored the 2nd most runs in the National League. So the facts don’t comport with what you think is actually happening.

        And he isn’t an improvement over Brown. ZiPS projected that Brown will have a .346 wOBA and .185 ISO for the rest of the season, while it projects Pence at .349 and .176 respectively. Negligible differences. Pence, would, however, be an improvement over Ibanez, but, as we’ve seen, that’s not going to happen.

        The point remains he’s a nice player, but they paid way, way too much (especially in light of what Atlanta had to give up to get Bourne – much, much less for a player more valuable) for a guy they really didn’t need.

         
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    By the way… I like Pence and I think Philly will like him. He’s a gamer… I’m not sure if we overvalued him but he I’d rather have him playing RF for the next couple of years than any of the upcoming free agents. Take a look at the upcoming free agent crop – there’s not a whole lot there. In fact, I see one other all-star on that list – Carlos “I Need Money” Beltran. Thanks but no thanks.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jay from Leonardtown

    Michael Taylor, Greg Golson, Mike Costanza, Jason Brannan…. I think these were some of the top prospects who were supposed to be with the Phillies by now. (also Bourn, Floyd, Marson, Hamels, Carrasco)

    I’ve probably messed up a few spellings, but we’re several years away from knowing what Singleton or Cosart will be.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob myers

    Very thought provoking and interesting post. It’s so hard to see the future, and the reality is, these trades can and will be evaluated years down the road.
    I do think that in some ways Pence is replacing Werth. We weren’t ready to give Werth 126 million, and that was because we were looking ahead. Pence is far better than Werth, and he’s younger. Ruben was wise to forego a bidding war on Werth. The assets of these four players are really an unknown value. If we could have gotten Matt Kemp, well, we would all be rejoicing. Reality is, if Pence gets some plays or hits that decide play-off and World Series games, it wiill be regarded as genius. If he goes on an 0 for 15 tear with 9 strike outs, well, the second guessing will begin.

    Howard’s strike outs are annoying, but not newsworthy. I’m hoping Howard can overcome this better with Pence batting fifth.
    I like that you bring in other disciplines and writers to evaluate baseball, which is one reason I enjoy Michael’s posts very much. Jesus words about not worrying about tomorrow are intended only for those who displace their anxiety by trusting God to provide. It’s not just a
    Kay Sera, Sera, whatever will be, will be, the future’s not ours to see approach. It’s a put your trust in God and He will take care of you. I’m not sure that anyone has proven theollogically and Biblically that the Phillies are God’s team. But I’d be willing to take a crack at that and submit it as a post!

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Here is the reality Jack A S S…ITs a stupid baseball game. These guys are not teaching our kids, saving lives, protecting us from bad people. They are simply playing a baseball game. All I have to say is get out of the basement. Its a game. If we lose so be it. We still have our health and families to go home to. Big deal he made a trade for a couple of scrubs…

    LOSER

     
    • Posts: 0 EricL

      Here’s the reality Jack A S S…ITs a stupid internet post. These guys are not teaching our kids, saving lives, protecting us from bad people. They are simply writing about a baseball team. All I have to say is get out of the basement. It’s a blog. If their opinions are wrong, so be it. We still have our health and families to go home to. Big deal, he made a post about a trade fora couple of prospects…

      LOSER

      Seriously, your post was kind of useless, Jeff.

       
  • Posts: 4566 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Michael, you just passed English 101, well done. You totally understand the purpose of writing.

    http://bugenhagen.blogspot.com/2006/08/what-is-purpose-of-writing.html

     
    • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

      LOL had to comment. Classic.

      Bill Watterson the author of one of my favourite comic strips, Calvin and Hobbes, very succinctly notes, “The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity.” He then goes on, “with a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!”

       
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Yeah, I gotta agree that I don’t need to read baseball talk like I do “The Economist” or a legal brief. Damn. I thought the idea was simple: Field a great team for now but keep your eye on the future, too. I think Ruben understand this and I think he’s probably a big Phils fan, too.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob myers

    Wow, this is a tough crowd in here sometimes.

    Of course, that just makes this forum all the more interesting to read, post and look for follow up comments…..

    I’m feeling that as I grow older than the average baseball player, my eyes turn more to the management of the team and deals, because I could conceivably do that job, even if I couldn’t keep up with say Eric Bruntlett……

     
  • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

    Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

    I would also have to completely disagree with this article. I honestly do not believe it was well researched, or had a consistant arguement. It went from Ruben’s age, and PARTIAL history with the Phillies (ignoring the fact that he has a longer history than Michael with the Phillies) to politics which had a very weak connection, to Jesus Christ. Not to mention, we are losing 2 POTENTIAL stars for one CURRENT ALL STAR for MORE THAN JUST THIS YEAR. I would understand the arguement if we “rented” Beltran (another left handed bat that would not help at all) however we got an All Star hitting over .300. Will Cozart and Singleton amount to anything? Can anyone answer that questions for sure? Does anyone know for a FACT that Singleton will hit .300, or have any power in the bigs? He is a PROSPECT. Not to mention, might want to look at the Red Sox comparison. Youk was on the Red Sox in 2004 for the World Series, so you can not consider him a prospect. Not to mention, you are comparing two prospects which are DEFINITELY NOT ready to come to the bigs right now and make an impact to Pedroia and Papelbon who were ready to come to the Majors and make an impact in 2005. Apples to Oranges. Furthermore, Singleton came in playing 1st base. They move him to LF because he had very little chance in the future to play in the bigs. Having said that, his fielding in LF is pretty bad. I wouldnt want to see his WAR from a fielding perspective. So if that is the case, when do you think he would actually contribute to the Phillies? If he is not going to contribute, and will stay in the Minors as a “prospect”, it sounds like a great idea to have a really good prospect in the Minors for 5 years, and never grow to a major league player doesn’t it? I find it amusing that this is a now move that will ruin the future. Can anyone tell me where these guys came from? Last time I check, they were all DRAFTED! I must have missed the new conference that announced they will be ending the DRAFT, and the Phillies will no longer be able to DRAFT good players again. Not to mention, this was the SAME EXACT ARGUMENT the first time we got Cliff Lee. The arguement was that the future was ruined from that trade. Again, the last time I checked, 2011 is the future from when we got Cliff Lee, oh and Roy Halladay. So the argument was that Ruben was trying to win immediately and “Ruin Tomorrow”, and “let tomorrow happen”. Hmm, wierd, but it seems Ruben helped the Phillies in 2009, and yet again in 2011 (the future from the original bone head move). Lets also look at the Offense. Can anyone argue that OVERALL this offense has been as good or consistant this season? Jayson Werth was NOT the answer. Like it or not, Hunter Pence is better than Jayson Werth. Losing Werth hurt, not because of his overall skill, or bat (case in point, look at his numbers with the Nationals with little to no protection). Losing him hurt because we did NOT have a RH bat. Now look at the RH bat. the last RH bat we had starting had a career high of say about .270. Sure he had some power, but it was at CBP. Now look at Hunter Pence, currently hitting .308. He also has 11 homers at a ball park which is not as “hitter friendly” as CBP. Furthermore, he was doing this in a weak lineup. Chances are very good that he will at the very least keep similar numbers. Some of his doubles in Houston will turn into Homes in Philly. Like it or not, of you want to convince people whether it was a good trade or not, you have to look at FACTS. The fact is Ruben has come through in the PAST, and in the PRESENT! The PRESENT quickly turns into the PAST, similar to what 2009 and ’10 are. Needs more facts. Opinions should be based on Fact, if they are not, the result is a weak losely formed “argument”

     
    • Posts: 3 AshburnStadium

      Avatar of AshburnStadium

      I, too, fail to see what my Savior, Jesus Christ, has to do with this post. Besides, Ruben Amaro, Jr. is Jewish – I kid you not. His mother is Jewish, and according to Jewish religious law, the children follow the mother’s religion in a mixed-religion family.

       
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    When I think of Amaro, I sometimes think of T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men”, …”april is the cruelest month”, but at other times I also liken him to Barry Goldwater, pressing his new “conservative” ideals on a unwitting nation in the hopes of taking the presidency back from the J.F.K. neophytes in the 1964 election. The isolation of being alone…but right. But most of the time I just think of a sleepy orange sun, seeking comfort after a day’s completed chore, setting languorously behind billowy purple clouds. Sniff. But I digress.

    Hey! How bout that Hunter Pence!?

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 0 Robert Herrick

      The Dipsy,

      “April is the cruellest month” comes from “The Waste Land,” not “The Hollow Men.” Also, I feel confident in saying that you have no idea what the word “neophyte” means, judging from your use of the word. If you’re going to make fun of someone, don’t make yourself look like the idiot while doing so.

       
  • Posts: 0 Brian

    Only 18 years of “fandom” is pretty clear by the argument here. If you have been rooting for this team since the late 70s as I have, and saw the years and years of nothing being accomplished, you’d be very happy with the moves being made now. This team is built to win now and for the next few years. Whatever needs to happen to make those chances improve needs to be done, and this move was the one they made. I don’t love Pence, but I love that they are going for it, and he will help them immensely. A different perspective and there’s no way you’d label this trade a D+.

     
  • Posts: 0 Patrick May

    Like the majority I believe you’re an idiot. WOW Phillie fan for 18 whole years! You weren’t sitting in the Vet in ’71 watching the Phigtin’s battle it out with the Expos for the cellar…ask my dad about ’64…shit he was an A’s fan growing up, that’s how bad the Phils were. When you have an opportunity you go for it…this is our time.

    Amaro is one of…if not the best GMs in the game. Dumbass!

     
    • Posts: 0 EricL

      It’s pretty hilarious that you start off by saying that you think someone else is an idiot and then end with the claim that RAJ is the best GM in the game.

      It’s pretty easy to be a good GM when you take over a team that has just won the World Series. And it’s easy to field a winner when you’re spending $170 million with that core in place. The real test is for a GM to compete AND to keep his team together in a way that allows them to continue to compete for years to come. Ruben is not doing this. He’s singularly focused on today at the detriment of the future. You cannot continue to overpay for assets that are worse much less than the value you give up to get them. Ruben has a history of doing this. (The 2nd Lee trade, the Ibanez contract, the Howard contract, the Pence trade, etc.) That’s how you take a very successful team and turn it into an old, overpaid team that collapses before our very eyes. Pence instantly becomes the YOUNGEST regular on the team, and he’s 28 and making $7 million! As much as the Phils want to pretend they are, they don’t have the revenue of teams like Boston or the Yankees. They cannot continue to just spend their way past poor personnel moves.

       
      • Posts: 0 joey

        he did NOT over pay for Pence you fooking idiot

         
      • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

        Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

        Way to prove just how stupid you really are. The Phillies don’t have the revenue? Last time I checked, and it was recently within the last week, the Phillies have the most consecutive SELL OUTS, PLUS have 3 of the top 5 selling Jersey’s in the League, not to mention the rest of the memorabilia. Sure, the Phillies don’t have their own network like “YES”, and I know you know what that is since you are obviously a Yankmee fan. Keep jumping on the Ibanez sucks bandwagon. Everytime a moron like you says that, he starts hitting. Like OVER .300 since July 1st. 2nd on the team in RBI’s to Howard, who you also point out as a huge mistake, and oh by the way, is leading the league in RBI’s, top 5 in Home Run’s, and how about that Fielding Percentage.

         
  • Posts: 0 bart shart

    Michael Baumann —- some of us have a need to talk and some of us have a need to write. Sometimes we hit a homerun, sometimes we land face first in a pile of horse manure. Your article, while logical is grossly overthought and overplayed. Amaro reacted to a problem and brought in what he thought was the best solution for the next three years. It really is quite simple. He knows that in order for him to reach the heights as a GM he needs to have balls. He is a very well educated baseball executive who thinks beyond the typical linear thinker. He saw an opportunity and went after it and he got his man. That simple. Ownership cannot bitch about the 150 plus sell outs at CBP. A full slate of asses are in the seats every night. This stuff is not that cerebral. It’s baseball.

     
    • Posts: 0 EricL

      The problem is that Ruben reacted to something that wasn’t a problem.

      These were the Phillies prior to the move:

      Best record in baseball.
      Best run differential, by far, in the NL (+110 to Atlanta’s +55. SF is at +12)
      2nd best offense in the league since Utley’s return.
      Victorino, from the 5th hole, destroying left-handed pitching. Much better than Pence against lefties. (.356/.470/.676 for an OPS of 1.146! – versus Pence .278/.336/.443 for an OPS of .780) – Victorino is hitting like Joey Bautista against lefties (.368/.489/.724 OPS of 1.213)

      There was no need to make this move, and worse, when the did, they kept the worst outfielder (Ibanez) on the field,and are moving the better hitter against left-handers out of the 5 hole. So they gave up a lot of prospect talent for a guy who isn’t a power hitter, strikes out a lot, and is expensive to address a need that didn’t exist.

      That’s not “baseball,” that’s stupidity.

       
      • Posts: 0 joey

        ERIC your are a Moron.

        “The problem is that Ruben reacted to something that wasn’t a problem.”:

        FACT the team that existed BEFORE the pence trade could NOT beat the Giants and any trip to the WS goes through SF–unless ATL beats them in the NLDS .

        sSince 2009 the philleis are 9-13

         
      • Posts: 0 joey

        ERIC your are a Moron.

        “The problem is that Ruben reacted to something that wasn’t a problem.”:

        FACT the team that existed BEFORE the pence trade could NOT beat the Giants and any trip to the WS goes through SF–unless ATL beats them in the NLDS .

        Since 2009 the phillies are 9-13…. in the 2 games against Tom L and Cain we hit 156…216 in the NLCS.

        RAJ trades and his history of trades — leaving out the fact he took over after the 2008 WS win– EARNS win SOME respect and consideration.

        Beltran is career 300+ vs Cole DOC and Madson. Having the best record in MLB does not mean crap when you cant beat the Giants .

        Most folks get that. It speaks volumes that you dont.

         
  • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Wow. D or D+. Figures that Baumann would come up with that sort of grade for this move. Glad he wasn’t one of my professors in college.

    Yeah….how bout him?! That Pence fella. …. Dude’s gonna have this city in the palm of his hands at say…………7:06 tonight.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Have to remember this is someone who thinks Shane Victorino is a bad defensive CF.

    Take it with a grain of salt.

    My main problem is he uses his twitter to ridicule people who comment on these threads and he comes off very pompous.

    He needs to get over himself and be nice to us commoners.

     
    • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      Considering most of us “commoners” NEVER agree with him, abd believe his articles are usually poorly researched and argued, I honestly don’t care where he ridicules me. Not to mention, if he needs to ridicule people on a different site, to decrease the possibility of the people ridiculing him, that just shows what kind of boy he really is. Unlike you Andrew, who has often taken shots from me, and fired them right back, and can be a man and stand behind your opinion! Damn, that was no fun, when was the last time I defended you? LOL :)

       
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    I really dont want to get into a bashfest here.
    I am not willing to right articles for this site but do freely comment. And someone has to do it and it opens you up for criticism.
    Just today though he tweeted about the first 2 responces here and made fun of grammar etc etc. Agree he should do it here.

     
    • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

      And I said right not write.
      Dohhh stupid commoner

      @ Brian your always good for a nice debate.

      We all have one hting in common though we want the Phillies to win

       
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    FYI you can see his tweets on phillies nation in a box and here is a comment.
    I read his tweets and this is very typical.

    atomicruckusMichael Baumann

    2 commenters on my post so far. One referred to @JarredCosart as “Kosar” and the other thinks Pence is 26. Solid start, I think.

     
    • Posts: 0 EricL

      If someone is going to have an opinion about this move (which by default you must if you’re critiquing someone critical of the move), you ought to have a modicum of knowledge about the players involved.

      If someone says a trade was poor, they really need to know the people involved in it. So when posters show up who have no idea about the actual attributes (or names) of the players involved, yet have an opinion on the trade it detracts from their credibility.

      If you don’t know something, it’s ok to say, “Well, this seems like a good move, but I don’t really know much about those other guys, or their value.” But, of course, nobody will ever do that because we’re all right in our mind’s eye.

       
  • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

    Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

    Wow, and I thought I set you up to “throw a jab at me” too. Im disappointed Andrew. :) JK. I dont think people are trying to start a bash fest, and I dont know that I really want, nor have the time to write articles here, however I just find that articles that are written by Corey and Brian are often well researched, and truthful, based solely on FACT. There is just a noticeable difference in the arguments.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    I think Baumann is withholding the gameday thread! To protest.

    I am happy with the brown demotion now. He is in left tonight and a month learning left in the minors is OK. Then in the playoffs if Raul is hot play him. If he is one of his funks go with brown. Pretty simple and makes sense.

    Looks like the Pence signing is going to help the big contract.
    If that guy plays well this team cannot lose.
    Im hoping this gets him going.

     
  • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

    Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

    Conspiracy therarist now Andrew? LOL. Use this as the Gameday thread. LOL. He will wait to see if Hunter does anything. If he doesnt get a hit tonight, he will post tomorrow about how right he was because Hunter Pence is horrible, and cant hit the ball and all that junk. Regardless of the rest of the season, I am sure his opinion of the this signing will be based on tonight alone.

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    No gameday… Big piece mashing. J-Roll is rolling.

    Indians stole Ubaldo Jimenez… That’s a complete shocker.

     
  • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

    Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

    Sorry the Original Chuck, you are incorrect. This is not the Gameday thread! I sure hope Pence can at least walk away with a single tonight at some point!

     
  • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

    Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

    I completely missed the Ubaldo trade. That is a shocker. What are the odds. Pence comes in hitting .308 and can’t hit the ball worth a damn, and Howard comes into the night hitting .250, and is 3 for 3. Looks like Howard likes having a RH bat “protecting him”. Even if he isnt hitting. But if having Pence here can jump start the offense and start hitting more consistantly, and he doesn’t hit, I could care less. As long as the rest of the team hits. There is something to be said about team dynamics, and the addition or subtraction of a single player can affect the rest of the team, and how they play.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Ibanez is horrible. I would like to see MiniMart out there instead. And I’m not kidding.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Believe it or not someone on one of my horse racing forums from Ohio.
    Is crying about losing the prospects. I swear.

    If Howard hits this is the best team in baseball and all time one of the greatest teams ever.

    One game does not show me that.

    But I am encouraged

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    @ dipsy
    I see your point Ibanez goes hot and cold though.

    Brown down in the minors learning left for a month is a good thing.

    If Ibanez isnt hot going into the playoffs dont play him. Period.

     
  • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

    Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

    You know what one comment from you which says “If Howard hits this is the best team in baseball and all time one of the greatest teams ever.” It tells me you lost your mind. :) I dont think I have ever seen a compliment from you about Howard. LOL. :)

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Dip… Don’t worry, it’s only temporary. Dom will be back.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    This team is great.
    I have never thought he was the sole reason they won but he can be the sole reason they lose.

    The playoffs this year will write the book on the big contract for me.
    I suppose there is a chance they win the title and he struggles.
    But I doubt it. he will have to hit for them to win a title.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Dip sh it. Back off of Raul you turd. Starting getting out of the house. Loserrrrrrr

     
  • Posts: 0 Kevin L.

    Complete drivel. An unusually long winded way of saying that you don’t approve of the trade. Try harder next time and maybe nix the psuedo-intellectualism.

    Poltical science and religion? Really?

     
  • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    What about tonight makes Ibanez “horrible” ?? I mean, really??!!

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Chuck A. – Nothing about tonite. Just his whole season.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Dipsy, so you apparantly haven’t watched any of his 14 HRs, and 55 RBI…. some that were either game-winning or contributed heavily to wins. But then, you didn’t like the signing from the beginning so that’s understandable….I guess. After all, you advocated Jermaine Dye, Manny Ramirez….and insisted that Scott Podsenik would be the savior to the season. I still like you though.

    Damn, Bastardo is nasty…

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    If you admit he sucks, I won’t say another word about him all season. Promise. Hey, where’s Don M.?

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    How about I admit that SOMETIMES he sucks. Does that count? But then, so does Howard, Rollins, Victorino, Cliff Lee, et al….

    Nice win for the Phillies. Bastardo/Stutes probably should have pitched the whole 8th inning though.

     
  • Posts: 0 joey

    D+ trade??/
    Michael Baumann’s post is is so pathetically stupid its something you would Normally see over the THE GOODPHIGHT blog for idiots….. and bitter name calling cursing moderators.

    Mike you freaked over Brown who was in the end … NOT traded.

    Rather than admit yow ere totally wrong you come up with absurd pile of crap passing as analysis … A D+ trade???

    congrats Mike you are now as Mortoic as Eskin

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    @ Eric L. I am so glad you don’t run this team. You have no idea what your talking about. Meet for lunch.

     
    • Posts: 0 EricL

      It should be “you’re,” champ.

      And what a well-reasoned reply. I thank you for your detailed and factual analysis, with point by point rebuttal of my argument.

       
      • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

        Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

        That’s rather funny that you didn;t respond to Joey earlier. Could be that you had no response? True, he replied with “detailed and factual analysis, with point by point rebuttal” of your arguement proving how little you actually know. LOL.

         
 
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