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The Ruben Grinder

Ruben Amaro Ruben Grinder

We are serving up something deliciously awful here at Phils Baseball. What is the Ruben Grinder?

Ruben Grinder Menu

In blog form, the Ruben Grinder is a page devoted to everything Ruben Amaro. Let's put him through the grinder and see what comes out. A quick warning, though. These are not quality meats, so expect some of this to come back up later.

Ruben Amaro comments

We begin with the most recent comments that got Amaro in a lot of trouble with a lot of people, including us.

May 25: THE COMMENTS:

“They don’t understand the game,” Amaro said. "They don’t understand the process. There’s a process. And then they bitch and complain because we don’t have a plan. There’s a plan in place and we’re sticking with the plan. We can’t do what’s best for the fan. We have to do what’s best for the organization so the fan can reap the benefit of it later on. That’s the truth.”

May 26: Ruben Amaro's response to THE COMMENTS:

“That was not the purpose of it. It is some fans who think that bringing [Zach] Eflin and [Aaron] Nola, for instance, to the Major Leagues at this time is the right thing for the organization. It’s those fans that really quite, don’t know...it’s those fans that really don’t understand.

When I said that, it’s more about the fan that really doesn’t understand the process—and it’s not all fans. There are just some who feel like, ‘Let’s just bring this guy because he’s a young player and it’s OK, we just wanna see him.’ That’s not how the process works. And you know, when I said the fan, that’s not all the fans. I know that there’s a lot of knowledgeable fans. There are those loud, minority of fans that believe that we should be doing x, y, or z and we have to do our work based on what’s important and what we feel is right for the organization as a whole."

Now, here's some really good stuff from the past year (thanks to Kyle Scott from Crossing Broad for his post with these quotes). Some of this will amaze you, trust me:

Ruben Amaro explains his reasoning why he’s not worried about Hamels and Papelbon getting injured:

Amaro via Todd Zolecki“The reality is this: There are a lot more chances for the 29 other teams to get people hurt than the one or two guys that we have,” he said. “That’s basic math.”

Amaro via Jayson Stark: “There’s no lesson there,” Amaro said. “Everybody knows that. It’s apples and oranges. We have a guy who was actually hurt last year. We don’t have a player who’s hurt in Cole. … There’s no lesson learned from Lee’s situation because it’s a totally different situation. One guy is hurt. The other guy is completely healthy.”

Ruben Amaro missed an opportunity to move Cliff Lee

From Buster OlneyWhen Lee was claimed on waivers by the Dodgers in the summer of 2012, the Phillies never engaged L.A. about what might be possible, and a few weeks later, the Dodgers concluded the massive trade with the Red Sox that allowed Boston to dump the contracts of Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, attaching them to Adrian Gonzalez. Now Lee is coming back from surgery and is essentially untradable until he can demonstrate he is healthy, at age 36, after being shut down for elbow trouble last summer.

Ruben Amaro on Biddle's concussion last season

Jim Salisbury wrote: Amaro this week acknowledged that Biddle had “concussion symptoms,” but added, “I don’t know if it was a full-blown concussion.” He went on to say, “That wasn’t the reason we gave him the break.”

Ruben Amaro on rebuilding

Ruben Amaro on WIP: “We’re going to have to get players that are going to impact us very, very quickly. And so, there’s no reason for us to be moving players that are really effecting are club in a positive way right now, for players that we’re hoping that will help us in four or five years. That doesn’t work for us.”

“In our marketplace, and with what our fan base is all about, I don’t think [a total rebuild] is fair. I don’t think it’s fair to them. I don’t think it’s fair to our organization. I don’t think it’s fair to the players on the field.”

Ruben Amaro on Ryan Howard

Ruben Amaro said on 97.5 The Fanatic“I told him that in our situation it would probably bode better for the organization not with him but without him. With that said if he’s with us, then we’ll work around him. We’ll hope he puts up the kind of numbers that we hope he can and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Brandon Moss on leaving the Phillies

Brandon Moss told Eno Sarris of Fangraphs“Well, yes it does matter, if you want to be called up. I was having a good year and they went out and traded for a guy because they needed left-handed bench bat and someone asked, you know Moss is having a pretty good year in Triple-A for you guys, why do you need to go outside. [Amaro] was like ‘We just don’t believe Brandon Moss is consistently able to hit a major league fastball.’ And I was like, that’s really all I kinda hit. It’s my best pitch. Everything else, I just hope I hit it. If you’re here, you’re like that. You better be able to hit that pitch. It was a funny comment and I laughed about it. Okay, if that’s how they feel, I can’t do anything about that.”

Ruben Amaro on analytics

Dan Gelston tweets: Ruben Amaro says team does use analytics. First thing scouts do at games is “pick up a stat sheet.”

Dodgers GM Ned Colletti on deal with Amaro

Via LA Times: Trade talks with the Phillies “accelerated” into Thursday because [Colletti] “wanted to complete a deal before the news broke of Josh Beckett possibly missing the rest of the season with his hip injury.” Coletti said he was happy to have the deal done before “Ruben could hold me up for even more.”

Ruben Amaro's negotiation strategy

Jayson Stark on Amaro: Ruben was targeting high-end young players who were big-league ready or already in the bigs. Though Ruben said they didn’t ask for top prospects, Stark talked to guys who said Ruben asked for their organization’s very top guy and would not get off that idea, no matter who the other GM brought up. Another team said Ruben asked for best prospects for “guys who weren’t stars.” Another GM said Ruben was basically asking, “Could you please drive your AA team to Reading and drop them all off?”

Ruben Amaro's contracts

Joe Posnanski on AmaroSome years ago, I named particularly terrible baseball contracts “Ricciardis” after former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, who seemed particularly skilled at giving them out. However, in retrospect, I may have been unduly harsh toward Ricciardi. What Ruben Amaro has done in Philadelphia deserves its own place in the Bad Contract Hall of Fame.

Ruben Amaro on why the age of Howard and Utley doesn't matter  

Ruben Amaro, speaking to Mike Missanelli, who mentioned statistics that showed players decline and are injury risks after they turn 30: “Well, not all the statistics. I don’t know how well versed you are in statistics, but the fact of the matter is a lot of these guys have very strong track records, they’ve had some success in the past, and uh … if they don’t do it, then they don’t do it. But, uh, did we miscalculate on some of them? Perhaps we did. But you know, these guys are human beings and unfortunately they haven’t lived up to what we thought they’d be doing right now and we’re gonna try to do something to improve that.”

Phillies trading prospect Domingo Santana to the Astros

Houston Chronicle regarding the Hunter Pence deal: Less than two months after they picked George Springer from the University of Connecticut, the Astros sent Pence and cash to the Phillies on July 29, 2011, for Cosart, Singleton, Zeid and a player to be named, which ended up being Santana. In spring training, a Phillies official admitted that Santana wasn’t actually supposed to be on the list that was given to the Astros to pick from to satisfy the final piece on Aug. 15, 2011.

Pretty amazing stuff right there. It's hard to make some of that up, it really is. Here's more Amaro quotes (although not nearly as entertaining):

More Amaro Quotes

Pat Gillick via Todd Zolecki's blog: Question: Ruben’s contract expires at the end of the season. Will you address that before the end of the season?

Gillick: I think it’s something that could go through the end of the season. At this point I don’t think it’s going to be addressed. I think it would probably be at the end of the season.

Pat Gillick via Todd Zolecki's blog: Question: You’ve maintained your support for him throughout. Does that still hold true?

Gillick: Absolutely. Absolutely. As I’ve said, we’re in this together. He has to make the ultimate decision. He’s the point guy. He’s the one that gets all the heat, but we’ve all had a hand in making these decisions. So consequently I think we all share responsibility.

Ruben Amaro on Ryan Howard:

"I told him that in our situation it would probably bode better for the organization not with him but without him," Amaro said in an interview with 97.5 The Fanatic. "With that said, if he's with us, then we'll work around him. We'll hope he puts up the kind of numbers that we hope he can and we'll see where it goes from there."

Ruben Amaro on the Jimmy Rollins trade and future of Phils:

"The bottom line is that it is about wins and losses, and that's what it's all about," Amaro said. "I know [fans] like to identify with certain players, but in this business it's about wins and losses. And I grew up with some of these players as well. There is some sentimentality that is built in automatically, and that is one of the things that's important - to have our fans identify with our players. But at some point, you have to turn the page, and we're at that stage now."

"It'll be a loss for the organization," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "At the same time, this is important for the organization. It's fairly obvious. We made the very concerted effort to decide that it was time for us to turn the page. I guess if we could try to draw it up and line it up, I don't know if Jimmy would be the first guy we'd move. But it's also the right thing for him . . . And it's something that I think was important to him, to play on a club that was going to contend. He only had 1 year on his contract left, at least at this stage, who knows what happens after 2015, but I know that Jimmy wants to play again for a World Series ring, and at this stage of the game, the Dodgers were probably more poised to do that."

Amaro on Zach Eflin and Tom Windle:

“We are very happy to add two top-tier starting pitching prospects who we believe will impact our major league club in the near future," Amaro said. "This deal is clearly geared to continue the process of building for perennial future success."

"They've got high ceiling - we like their arms," Amaro said yesterday. "We are short, particularly at the upper levels, in starting pitching. So they fill the needs that we have. We have to be able to pitch to win and we have to be able to develop pitching, long-term."

12/4: Ruben on his relationship with Pat Gillick:

"He's my boss," Amaro said. "Right now that's pretty clear and that's where we are. We're operating kind of status quo."

Asked if things were likely to remain that way through the offseason, Amaro said that it was "not a question for me."

"My job is to report to Pat Gillick," he said.

11/26: Ruben Amaro Jr. when asked if he was disappointed that Yasmany Tomas would not be a Phillie:

“We are not disappointed."

11/21: Ruben on expectations for Jesse Biddle:

"Clearly his ceiling is very high and it still is high," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He's got some hurdles and some things he has to get over and we have very high expectations of him still, but he's got a lot of work to do yet. He needs pitching time and he has some hurdles to get over mentally. We'd like everyone to go in a straight line and have everything be perfect, but we're not in a perfect business."

11/21: Amaro when asked if Biddle's mental hurdles are tougher to clear since he's trying to make a career with his hometown team:

"I think that plays into it, sure," Amaro said. "He knows people here, his family is here, he has goals for himself. He has said publicly that he watched Cole Hamels pitch in a World Series and that's the guy he wants to be. Those are great goals to have, but at the same time it can make guys try to do too much or be too much. I think at some point Jesse will let Jesse be Jesse and then we'll get a very, very good major league player."

10/24: Ruben on the availability of former Rays manager Joe Maddon:

“We have a manager,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Friday. “Ryne Sandberg is our manager."

10/24: Ruben on Pat Gillick's comments that the Phillies are in a rebuilding/retooling mode (courtesy csnphilly.com):

“It didn't surprise me that Pat said that,” Amaro said Friday. “I talk to him all the time. We talk about it a lot internally.”

Amaro, who technically now works for Gillick, said he was completely on board with the idea of rebuilding and the need to do it.

“Different times,” he said. “We are doing things differently and we will do things differently. It’s clear we made an effort to go for it many times and now we have to look at it in a different way and that's what we're planning on doing.

“It's clear there's room for us to get younger and give opportunities to younger players and build this thing from within.

“We have intelligent fans and I think many of them like change and I think that’s what we need to do.

“I believe in the people I work with, Pat and the ownership group. I'm looking forward to doing some things differently.”

10/24: Ruben on how rebuilding affects his future:

“I haven't been given any indication that this would impact my future and my job to get us back on track,” Amaro said. “I love this challenge and the opportunity to do it and I believe in our guys and the administration. And this is a good challenge to have. I view it as exciting for me.

“I told my kids when I took job the fans will love me for a few years and hate me for a few years. That's secondary with what needs to be done for the organization and to improve it and that's the focus.”

10/24: Ruben on his role:

“I love working with Pat,” Amaro said. “I loved it the first time and I love it now.

“I'm the GM and Pat works with me and I work with him. We work together. I don't think it matters who works for whom and who does what. It's about getting the Phillies back on track and I'm confident we can do that. My role hasn't changed. Nothing about my role has changed."

“We did the same thing with David. The relationship is no different. David was consulted on 99 percent of the decisions we made. He was aware of 99 percent of the decisions we made. It's no different.”

Ruben Amaro transactions/releases/news:

5/15 - Phils promote Maikel Franco from Triple-A

5/12 - Cody Asche optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley

4/28 - Phillies option Domonic Brown to Triple-A Lehigh Valley

4/1 - Phillies outright Phillippe Aumont and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to triple-A (both cleared waivers) and reassigned Brian Bogusevic to minor league camp.

3/20 - Phillies optioned Maikel Franco along with Joely Rodriguez and Nefi Ogando to Minor League camp.

3/16 - Phillies optioned Jesse Biddle, Adam Morgan, Ethan Martin and Aaron Altherr to Minor League camp. Additionally, Sean O'Sullivan and John Hester were reassigned to Minor League camp and Xavier Paul was released.

1/29 - Phillies signed Chad Billingsley to a one-year, $1.5 million contract, with up to $8 million in performance bonuses.

1/16 - Phillies claimed Jordan Danks off waivers from the White Sox.

1/5 - Phillies sign Aaron Harang to one year/$5 million contract.

12/31 - Phillies trade Marlon Byrd to the Cincinnati Reds along with $4 million for righthanded pitching prospect Ben Lively.

12/27 - Phillies agreed to a Minor League contract with Wandy Rodriguez, but did finalize deal when he failed physical.

12/19 - Phillies officially trade Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers for pitchers Zach Eflin and Tom Windle.

12/2 - Phillies offered 2015 contracts to all three of their salary-arbitration eligible players: Ben Revere, Antonio Bastardo, and Domonic Brown. The players can accept the offer, negotiate an agreement, or wait for an arbitration panel to decide their salaries.

11/26 - Fan purchased the ad space on Ruben Amaro Jr.'s player page on Baseball-Reference.com with the following comments: BRef wanted $15 to sponsor this page, but in Ruben's honor I ponied up $75 on a three year deal with a vesting option. 

11/26 - Phils fail to sign Yasmany Tomas, who signs 6 year/$68.5 million deal with Diamondbacks.

11/20: Phillies add pitchers Jesse Biddle, Adam Morgan, and Nefi Ogando to 40-man roster.

Jerome Williams - 10/21 - re-signed for 1 year/$2.5 million

Grady Sizemore - 10/23 - re-signed for 1 year/$2M

Cesar Jimenez - 10/23 - agreed to one year deal, avoiding arbitration (terms not disclosed yet)

10/28 - Outrighted BJ Rosenberg off 40-man roster to Lehigh Valley

10/30 - Declined $6 million option on Mike Adams

10/31: Amaro unveils "The Phillies Way" handbook

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