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Phillies' GM Ruben Amaro grilled in Philly2Philly Phantasy Interviews

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Philly 2 Philly Phantasy Interviews

…a Satiric Look Inside What may be in the Head

of Current and Past Philly Sports PersonalitiesRuben Amaro Jr.

 

As Major League Baseball’s July 31 trade deadline is fast approaching, I was grateful to get a few minutes with Phillies’ general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr  on Tuesday morning.

Ruben is in his third year as the man on the hot seat for the Phillies, and he has come up huge the last two years at about this time, snagging Cliff Lee in 2009, and Roy Oswalt last year.  Who might it be for the 2011 stretch drive?

We spoke about this year’s deadline, team needs and prospects, and I tried to get some inside news out of him. Did we break news, break some stones, or both? Hunter Pence in red pinstripes? Hmmm.

 
Matt:  Ruben, I know how busy you must be. Thanks for carving out a little time for me and the Philly2Philly readers.

Ruben: Not a problem, but I may have to speed-talk my way through it.

Matt:    That’s better than sleep-talking or sleepwalking. I’ll just speed-type it, okay?

Ruben:  Whatever works.

Matt:  So, Ruben, relief pitcher or right-handed bat for the outfield?

Ruben: We’ll just have to see what happens. Can you wait a few days?

Matt:  Absolutely not. I’m thinking that with Brad Lidge apparently back, and with the great seasons by Ryan Madson, Antonio Bastardo  and Mike Stutes, that an outfielder is the bigger need. Someone like Hunter Pence  would look great in red pinstripes. Even Carlos Beltran, but oh yeah, the team that beat us to get to the World Series last year snagged him from us...........

Ruben: They’re both good players, yes.

Matt:  I appreciate that deep insight.

Ruben:  No problem. But you’re not going to get any breaking news from me today.

Matt:    That’s what you say now. But I hit even harder than Wilson Valdez; we’ll get something out of you. So, what story are you going to give us today, Rube?

Ruben: We shoulda swept the Padres all four games. A game in July is the same as one in September. We were flat, and you have to get up for all 162 games.

Matt:    Do you really mean that? It’s ancient history now. Plus, you have those defending champion Giants in town now.

Ruben:  Okay, let’s focus on the Giants. Never liked those tools.

Matt:  Does that animosity stem from last year’s NL Championship Series? We thought SF would only be a speed bump to the World Series.

Ruben:  The pressure’s on me to get us to the World Series and win it every year. I know that. In my two years, we made it once and were a step away last year. What hurt was losing to a lousy Giants team, and their manager—

Matt:  Bruce Bochy. You can’t be happy with him pitching Halladay and Lee the first three innings of the All-Star Game, while letting his starting pitchers rest.

Ruben: Too much was made of that. We’ll be okay. If you think we'll lose to them again, you’re full of s—

Matt:  I like that fire, Rube. So, who we gonna get, Pence, or Cuddyer?

Ruben:  Nice subtlety, Matt, but an epic fail.

Matt:  Speaking of epic fails, what was it like to work under Ed Wade when you were his assistant?Ed Wade photo: www.umpbump.com

Ruben: Work under Ed Wade? I don’t do that. I stipulated that at no time would I work under that never-played-the-game midget.

Matt:  I didn’t mean that literally, Rube.

Ruben: Ruben.

Goldberg: Ruben. Well, this is going well.  Do you harbor any resentments toward Fast Eddie?

Ruben: Slow Eddie? Yeah, a little bit. He stayed as the GM for too long. I could have gotten that position, but then we brought in Gillick.

Matt:  But it must have been great learning under a Hall of Famer like Pat Gillick. What did you learn from him?

Ruben: He taught me to wear those loud Hawaiian shirts when I’m a pot-bellied seventy year-old, and he often told me, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

Matt:  I didn’t realize that Gillick coined that term; wasn’t it Machiavelli?

Ruben: Who’s he?

Matt:  An Italian soccer player, I think. Speaking of which, you were quite the high school soccer star.

Ruben:  Yep, I was a two-sport star in high school, right here at William Penn. I had a chance to play professionally in Germany—

Matt: But your Mom, who is Jewish, nixed that idea.

Ruben: You did your research.

Matt:  I have to; it’s almost as much fun as talking to myself.

Ruben:  Why would you do that?

Matt:  It’s kind of necessary at times…So, you played baseball at Stanford and won a world championship, and you were kind of a fourth or fifth outfielder but played in the ’93 Series with the Phils, and in ’95 with the Indians. Counting the 2009 series versus the Yankees, you’re now 0-3 as a player and manager in the World Series. Any thoughts on this?

Ruben:  I’m thinking that you’re a pain in the ass.

Matt:  Thank you. Since we’re running out of time, and you have to work those phones to try to get us…who was it again?

Ruben:  Hunter Pence.

Matt:  Gotcha!

Ruben:  I was just playing.

Matt:  Okay, since you love to play, let’s conclude with a name association game.

Ruben: Let’s do this.

Matt:  The guy you sometimes backed up in centerfield here, Lenny Dykstra.Lenny Dykstra Photo: http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/03/17/amd_dykstra.jpg

Ruben:  Awesome player. Intense. Crazy. Sociopath. Criminal.

Matt:   Jim Fregosi.

Ruben:  Next.

Matt:  Hmmm…can we explore further?

Ruben:  No.

Matt:  Okay, Ed Wade.

Ruben:  Lousy GM, but he gave us Roy Oswalt cheap.

Matt:  Are you worried that we’ve seen the best of Oswalt? What about Little Roy?

Ruben:  Yes, We need him for the playoffs, but still a great trade.

Matt:  Even if he never pitches effectively for us again?

Ruben:  Have you seen J.A Happ’s numbers in Houston?

Matt:  Good point. How about Pat Burrell?

Ruben:  His bulldog, Elvis, covered more ground.

Matt:  Doc Halladay.

Ruben:  The best, along with Cliff and Cole.

Matt:  So, who would you want pitching a Game Seven for all the marbles?

Ruben:  Any of our Big Four is okay with me; that’s what Charlie Manuel gets paid to figure out.hunter pence

Matt:  C’mon, just pick one, man. 

 Ruben: If it’s the Yankees, I want Cliff. Anybody else, I want Doc.
 
Matt:    With Hunter Pence as your right fielder, right?

 Ruben: Absolutely.

Matt: You may have to give up someone like Vance Worley to get him. Maybe even Domonic Brown.

Ruben: Pence is with Houston. Slow Eddie Wade would probably give him up for David Herndon and Danys Baez.

Matt: But, you already let Baez go; wouldn’t Wade know?

Ruben: Shhh, don’t tell him.

Matt:   Well, thanks Rube. I appreciate the breaking news. Hunter Pence, baby!

A Disclaimer: This conversation with Ruben Amaro, Jr. did not really take place—but is it really all that far-fetched?

  

Along with being a lifelong Philly sports fan, Matt Goldberg is a unique, award-winning writer, speaker and all-around humorist who resides with his wife and son in South Jersey. He is a featured columnist for the Phillies for Bleacher Report, and is also the author of two new humor books—Wordapodia, Volume One, and All That Twitters is Not Goldberg. They are not sports books, per se, but definitely have a lot of sports passion and humor, and Philly flavor.

For information on ordering books, requesting customized writing, media requests and special events, please contact matt@tipofthegoldberg.com  or visit www.tipofthegoldberg.com

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