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Phillies’ rumored managerial candidates include, ahem, Ruben Amaro Jr.

ruben-amaro.p1.jpgWe’ll just leave this Nick Cafardo thing here:

“Other candidates believed to be in consideration for the Phillies include Dusty Wathan, manager of the franchise’s Triple A Lehigh Valley team; Larry Bowa, Philadelphia’s bench coach and the conscience of the organization; Red Sox first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr., the former Phillies GM who acquired some of the team’s top young players; Eric Wedge, who was MacPhail’s choice for the Orioles job ahead of Showalter; and Charlie Montoyo, who was recently promoted by the Rays to bench coach.”

Okay, let’s not leave it here.

  • Wathan has been whispered a lot. He’s logical. His 2017 IronPigs were good. His 2016 Fightin’ Phils were good. He knows the young guys.
  • Bowa is a logical choice, too. He knows the clubhouse better than probably any non-player. He’s been around forever. He’s, as Cafardo says, “the conscience of the organization.”
  • Ahem.
  • Wedge is logical because of the MacPhail connection. From 2003-13 he put up a .478 winning percentage with the Indians and Mariners. Kind of the standard “recent former manager who may find the right spot” choice, a la Terry Francona with Boston in 2004.
  • Montoyo played five games in the majors for the 1993 Expos, then started managing in the Rays organization in 1997. He’s been with the Rays ever since, moving up the system gradually until, in 2015, being promoted to the big league club as third base coach, then bench coach. Montoyo won six division championships in seven years with the Durham Bulls, plus two International League titles. He probably should get a managerial position sooner than later.

Oh yeah, the “ahem.” So Ruben Amaro Jr. is rumored to be a candidate for the managerial position. The guy who was fired as general manager at the end of the 2015 season is now a possibility to be the regular manager of the Phillies in 2018.

Okay.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

So do we actually invite the idea of our No. 1 Villain returning as the manager of the team? The guy who will be in focus as a team learns to become contenders? A guy who possibly never knew the difference between plate appearances and at-bats? A guy who laughed at sabermetrics? A guy who always seemed two or three steps behind everyone else?

Part of me thinks there’s a fantastic redemption narrative here: Can we just imagine for a second Ruben Amaro Jr. celebrating the 2020 world championship with the club that he put together before being fired? How ridiculous would that be? It would completely flip the way we look at him.

But most (like 99.2 percent) of me is no, no, no, no, no. Maybe Amaro has changed and learned to open his heart to change in baseball, but I just don’t trust it. I can’t. I’ll never.

I’d imagine Bowa is a popular choice among many fans, but I’d rather the team just move on with something really fresh. I’d imagine the Wathan campaign is strong, but he’s never managed in the big leagues before. Both of these problems are there with Amaro, and they’re not the biggest problems.

But again, imagine if they did it …

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Vernon Dozier

    October 9, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    I doubt that Bowa and Amaro are under any serious consideration. Bowa is about to turn 72 and Amaro is Amaro. Neither one will be the next Phillies manager.

  2. Ray K

    October 9, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    I have no problem with Ruben Amaro. People do learn, and grow with experiences. The truth is that a lot of things were blamed on him that were not his fault. And he DID give us the heart of the young team going forward, didn’t he? I am not saying it is likely, but if it happened, I think it could be exciting.

  3. Ray K

    October 9, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Furthermore, he has been a player, Asst. gm, GM, now coach, he is only 52 years old, and (I am guessing) he is probably bi-lingual, which would help him communicate with the players from Latin America, etc. It is an interesting idea.

    • Mike Fassano

      October 9, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      Ray K. – I agree. If not the manager,perhaps the bench coach.

      • Ken Bland

        October 10, 2017 at 4:10 pm

        The same way of thinking in the 2 comments right above this are the same logic that a collection of Don Trump supporters subscribed to when they “reasoned,” if you could call it that, that Don’s experience as a successful businessman would enable him to run the country. It’s called one ain’t got nothin’ to do with the other.

        It’s possible, maybe more than just that, though not probable that at SOME point, RAJ Jr. as I continue to affectionately call him (the J gets a little redundant when you follow up with Jr.) makes a decent manager. But what his work in contracts, trades, drafting, hiring and firing, GMing, and coaching first base has to do with communicating with a manager in game, and anticipating 2 innings out is more of a stretch than Anthony Rizzo ever did on his best day, and that’s long. He is a minimum of 2 more years, and 2 more experiences away from not being rushed into a managerial gig.

        Plus, and maybe even more relevant, I don’t know what goes on in Boston with sabermetric communications, but if Andy MacPhail can sit there with a straight face and tell the press that expecting a much higher payroll next year is unlikely, in part because the Phils want to apply budget increases to expanding their analytics department, and if Matt Klentak is as sabermetric saturated as he sure seems, unless RAJ is one helluva lot more saberconversant than he was when he left Philly, there is no way Amaro settles into an important position like manager or bench coach for next year.

        This doesn’t even factor in the PR challenge the Phils would face if they brought back Ruben in a visible position, especially since they don’t have a manager, so who knows how well Ruben would communicate with him.

        Pass on all fronts for now and the forseeable future.

  4. Clyde Colwell

    October 9, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    I haven’t always been Pete’s biggest supporter, but I fail to see what most of the names mentioned have in the way of better qualifications. Isn’t the goal to improve strategy and decision making? Given the names listed, Ruben is looking more and more attractive as a candidate–certainly all the advantages Ray K mentioned, plus he’s most likely the brightest.

  5. Betasigmadeltashag

    October 10, 2017 at 3:34 am

    Walthan would be risky IMO there is a big difference in winning in minor leagues and majors. I have a soft spot for Bowa because he was my favorite Phillie growing up, bug I don’t see that happening. Personally I think he would be a good first base coach, the second coming of Davy Lopes.
    If they decide to go away from an experienced major league manager like Showslter that would be fine. But if they want to roll the dice I think they should talk Chooch into retiring and signing him as a manager. Because if recent history tells us anything it is that catchers make great managers

  6. Keith L

    October 10, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    If Amaro became the manager, I’d probably stop watching the Phillies. When the team fired Mackanin, I thought it had to be for Wathan.

  7. Justin McElroy

    October 11, 2017 at 7:46 am

    This is Klentak’s first real opportunity to put his stamp on the team. It’s a significant move for his own career, and he’s going to hire one of “his guys”. It won’t be Bowa. It won’t be Amaro. It probably won’t be anyone from within the Phillies’ organization.

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