A Fork in the Road

July 25th, 2013 by AmyMac | Filed under Baseball, General, Phillies.
What are the chances that Ruben Amaro Jr. will choose the right path at the deadline?

What are the chances that Ruben Amaro Jr. will choose the right path at the deadline?

By Amy McGinnis

Things aren’t looking great for the Phils.  Sure, Philadelphia is in second place in the NL East, but we’ve also dropped the last four games.  Howard, Brown, and Revere are all injured, and the trade deadline is just around the corner.  The big question is: what will Ruben Amaro Jr. do?

Right now, Amaro is facing a fork in the road.  Clearly, something needs to change.  But what? Should we be buyers or sellers? If the Phillies were in good shape and needed to fill a specific roster spot, I’d support tossing some payroll at someone new.  That’s not the case, though.  The team’s various issues can’t be easily remedied with a new reliever or a bat added tot he lineup.  There are cracks everywhere, and it’s just a matter of time until the foundation collapses.  This team is aging – of Howard, Utley, Ruiz, Rollins, and M. Young, the average age is 34. Amaro has insisted in the past that he’s just “retooling,” which I think is his way of trying to keep fans from getting panicky.  The problem is, he’s prone to making big, flashy, and unnecessary deals for the sake of revenue.  Some people might think that I’m bailing on the Phils, but the opposite is true; I want what is best for the team.  It’s time to begin a new era of Phillies baseball, and we need to get back to basics.  I’m sure that my opinion isn’t popular, and I’m okay with that.  What we need right now is a fire sale, and I have three words for Amaro: blow it up.

I don’t actively dislike Amaro the way I dislike Manuel, but I don’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth.  A good GM is able to balance the business aspect with the baseball realm, and Amaro stumbles when it comes to planning for a solid team in the future.  His goal is to sell tickets now and worry about the fallout later.  Bringing big names and big contracts to Philadelphia is great – if you’re okay with flushing the farm system down the toilet.  In short, I don’t trust that Amaro will do what’s necessary at the deadline, because he should be selling.

Suppose Amaro miraculously comes to his senses and decides to sell.  Who should be sent packing? We’d need to sell players who are worth a decent trade, like Lee or Brown.  We can’t unload inflated salaries for old, injured players (looking at you, Howard), but timing is definitely key.  Take a look at Utley: no one hustles a play like Uts does, he’s a fan favorite, a team leader, and a master of the double play.  The truth is, though, that he’s 34 with a degenerative knee condition.  He’s signed through 2013 and will be a free agent for 2014.  I love Chase as much as the next chick (okay, that’s not true, because half the female population in Philadelphia is in love with him), and I’d be genuinely upset if he left.  We need to move things along, though, and I think that waiting on Utley would likely result in a blown-out knee and no teams interested in paying him a dime.

Who on the current roster is a player worth building a team around? I’d keep Hamels and Kendrick in a heartbeat.  They’re both young with a solid arsenal of pitches and several years ahead of them.  I’d keep Revere, as well, because he’s also young.  He’s not a power hitter, but when he’s healthy, he has a great batting average and he steals a lot of bases.  It doesn’t hurt that his salary is basically peanuts at around $500,000.

It’s time that we all accept that this team is aging and no longer effective as it is.  We need a change, and I’m not talking about “retooling.” Blow it up.

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