bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Ruben Amaro Jr. rips Phillies fans

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Oh, Ruben Amaro Jr. Really? Are you genuinely this clueless? I find it hard to believe that a man in his position can be so completely tone deaf. The embattled general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies stuck his foot firmly in his pie hole the other day and then spent Tuesday trying to put out the fire.

Amaro was being interviewed by a local television station about the current state of the team and the organization. Things have gone bad for the Phils in the last few years, with the euphoria of the 2008 World Series title well in the rearview mirror at this point. After winning a franchise-record 102 games in 2011, they have collapsed into a mess that could lead the major leagues in losses this year. Amaro took over as GM from Pat Gillick after the 2008 season, and while the team did see some success in 2009, making it back to the World Series before losing to the New York Yankees, the decline has been steady. Most fans in Philadelphia have been calling for his ouster for the last few seasons, as his drafting, his trades, and the huge contracts he has given out have put the team into the untenable position in which it finds itself. During the interview with CSN Philly, he was asked about some young pitching prospects that are at Double-A Reading right now, as far as the desire of many to see these guys brought up to the bigs, since the team is doing so poorly. He replied with this:

“They don’t understand the game. 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.”

Oops. So in the space of a couple of sentences, he called the fans stupid and accused them of bitching and complaining. That wouldn’t seem to have been such a great idea, Rube. These people already despise you and ticket sales are way down. They are also a fan base that prides itself on being knowledgeable and in tune with the nuances of the game. You basically insulted their moms.

Here’s the thing. The quote itself, taken on its own, is explosive. That is the way it was presented all over the media over the last couple of days, of course. I don’t believe that Amaro was actually blasting the whole fan base, though. He was talking specifically about people who want Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin in the majors right now, and I agree that those people are less-than-wise to want that. The problem is that Ruben already has a major image problem, and this simply threw gasoline on the dumpster fire that is the Phillies. The Stanford-educated Amaro suffers from an affliction shared by many smart people who have some power, which is the smartest-person-in-the-room syndrome. He comes across as incredibly arrogant and smug. He has to know better than to allow himself to be quoted saying something like this.

Amaro’s contract ends after this season. From what I can tell, the Phillies have no intention of extending him. With his poor record of leadership and decision-making, I have no idea why they would let him preside over this portion of the rebuilding project if they plan to dump him after the season anyway. I have to imagine this latest stumble will make it even more likely that he is sent packing before we get to that point. We can only hope.

Bad sports, continued:

1) The rest of the St. Joe’s softball team’s season has been canceled after the school was sued by a former player who alleged that she experienced hazing while on the team that included simulated sexual acts and alcohol. The suit also says that coach Terri Adams was aware of it.

2) Colin Kapernick may be a talented guy, but in addition to very real questions about how good a quarterback he actually is, there are persistent questions about his head. He sure seems like a dummy to me. This week, he threw a bizarre set of posts onto Instagram and Twitter in which he seemed to make light of the disastrous flooding in Houston. He followed it up with a shirtless picture of himself and a caption that said he was just being himself. He has since apologized, naturally.

3) Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Will Smith was tossed out of a game against Atlanta on Thursday night for having a foreign substance on his arm. He has since been suspended for eight games by Major League Baseball.

4) Back in March, the Chicago Bears signed defensive end Ray McDonald, who had been cut by the San Francisco 49ers after a series of incidents involving domestic abuse and sexual assault charges. On Monday, McDonald was arrested again. More domestic assault charges, which this time came with child endangerment charges. Gee, I guess Chicago couldn’t see that one coming? The Bears released him later that day.

Good sports:

1) In addition to being a great hitter, the Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton can field a little bit too. Watch this great catch he made on Monday.

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Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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