Amaro took over for his predecessor, Pat Gillick, in 2009 following Gillick’s retirement from baseball after the Phillies won the World Series in 2008. Gillick was here for three years, from 2006-08, taking the team to the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons in 2007. The year before, in his first season here, the team came within just three games of a playoff spot; after winning 85 in the regular season (the Dodgers were the NL wild-card representative that year with 88 wins). And following the former accomplishment, Gillick took the team all the way; a feat that hadn’t been done by a GM in Philly in 28 years.
Gillick did a good job in his role, keeping the core group of talented players on the team and adding key bench players to make the team even better, especially in close games (e.g. Matt Stairs, Geoff Jenkins). Although Wade set the tone for the future Phillies’ success with his strong draft picks, Gillick kept those star draft picks around, but did more to compete. He did this, unlike Wade, by adding complementary players (see above), not overpaying for free-agent talent, and making the necessary trades to fill holes.
Amaro, Jr. was primed to be Gillick’s successor, and ultimately did so a month after the ’08 World Series concluded. Dissecting Amaro, Jr’s general-manager career, the secret is out; he’s not a good one, to say the least. Most fans have complained about his frequent impatience and constant flurry of trades of minor-league talent/highly-touted prospects.
(Matt Rourke/AP Photo)
Backtracking a bit, prior to Gillick, Ed Wade was the Phillies’ GM from 1998-2005. Wade’s teams during his entire tenure had a combined win total of 643, with a winning percentage of 0.496 and average win total/year of 80. Wade’s contributions and success often go unnoticed and/or unappreciated, since the team didn’t make the playoffs once during his eight-year tenure. On top of that, he signed veterans Mike Lieberthal and David Bell to lucrative contracts during the end of their careers. Lastly, he also included no-trade clauses in Bobby Abreu, Jim Thome and Pat Burrell‘s contracts.
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