In professional sports, as in any job, fans understand people play different roles within an organization: Scouts scout, players play, trainers train and so on. The general manager ultimately decides which personnel are or are not a fit in the organization’s system, based on age, budget, depth and other considerations. One of the most important and, at the same time, most thankless roles in professional baseball is the manager. With the Phillies’ pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training on Tuesday, the Phillies need the proverbial “total team effort” this season to get back to the playoffs, including better “play” out of its manager.
When it comes to filling out his team’s roster with depth, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro proves once again he’s too shallow to understand who has “the goods.” For the second consecutive offseason, he has overlooked a veteran presence in the clubhouse, a guy who can get on base, play a variety of infield positions well, is considered a “gamer” in the eyes of many MLB analysts and who, by the way, fits nicely in the Phillies budget.
As the Phillies were taking stock of their offseason plans – who to trade for, who to acquire via free agency – I’d imagine that at some point, Phillies President David Montgomery gave General Manager Ruben Amaro a directive with regard to the type of player the team needs on its roster: get younger!