The baseball offseason is a laboring, arduous, laborious, one. Six months of dark, bitter, sterile days as we wait for Opening Day. It's tough to pick up the newspaper (do people still read those things?) and consider yourself lucky to find more than one Phillies article.
But the rite of passage has occurred with the return of our boys to Philadelphia. And with that, the Phillies entered the forefront of the Philadelphia sports discourse once again. On Friday there were no less than 17 articles on philly.com and a plethora of insightful topics.
Here are a few of the more interesting headlines and from Friday. Among the discussions were a look at how the Phillies don't value sabermetrics, adjusted training routines for the big guys, the impending injection of youth, and a severely depleted and horribly ranked farm system.
Finally, an interesting and revealing Q&A with Ruben Amaro.
More articles means more questions from reporters and, subsequently, more quotes for us. Here are some of my favorites.
"I know what some people might think about me. I'm very confident with how I ended last year and how I am as a pitcher right now."
Marti Wolever, Phillies assistant GM who runs the team's draft
"You can't burn the candle at both ends. If your club is getting older and you're picking later and you don't have the picks and you're not going to spend it internationally, something is going to give here, fellas. And it's just a matter of when it's going to give. We're getting to that point."
"Can we do better? Certainly we can do better. I don't think it's anything with development. Maybe we just haven't taken the right players. Maybe that's part of it. Maybe we should give more thought to 'baseball players' per se, than high-ceiling guys. But that's the philosophy we have kind of adhered to."
Jim Callis, executive editor for Baseball America who has studied the baseball draft for 20 years
"In a typical draft - this sounds crazy because of how many players you draft - but if you get one solid player, that is probably par. If you get two solid players, that is exceeding it."
Ruben Amaro on big decisions
"That's why we get paid the big bucks. We have to make very difficult decisions. Do we let a star veteran walk? We did it with Burrell. I love Pat Burrell, and I loved what he did for our organization. But we made a tough decision, and we moved on. I hope I don't have to make those decisions, but I know I might have to."
"Pope [the late Phillies general manager Paul Owens] used to tell Ed [Wade] that if we can bring one guy a year to have an impact on us, then we've done our job," Amaro said. "We've got time with these guys. We don't have to rush them all to the big leagues at the same time. To me, if we can filter guys in who can make an impact on our club at a reasonable pace, we can make whatever transition . . . and we'll be retooling rather than rebuilding."
"You can talk about it in different ways," he said. "I talk more about retooling then rebuilding. This team doesn't necessarily need to be rebuilt once these core players get older. We have to do our jobs to try to fill in the pieces that will cover for them as their productivity goes down as they get closer and closer to free agency."
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