As some of you saw last week, Sports Illustrated, a once great magazine whose letting-go of Rick Reilly still puzzles me, layed another egg. In Tim Marchman’s rating, they said Ruben Amaro, Jr. was the 19th best GM in all of major league baseball.
You have got to be kidding me! Before I completely rip this post apart, here are some of the GM’s considered better than Amaro:
5. Jack Zduriencik, Seattle Mariners – Marchman rips Amaro for only being a GM for one year and winning a pennant but considers Zduriencik, who has little over a year of experience under his belt with nothing to show for it as a top-five GM. Zduriencik also acquired Cliff Lee in a trade for prospects like Amaro but his 14 spots higher than Rube. Hmm.
6. Doug Melvin, Milwaukee Brewers - “There’s a lingering air of unfulfilled potential…” Potential is a fancy word for “Ain’t done nothin’ yet,” (had to clean it up). By failing to hold onto C.C. Sabathia, arguably the best pitcher in the game, I don’t see him deserving of #6.
12. Andy MacPhail, Baltimore Orioles – I don’t care who you are or what you did in the past. If the team you GM has been so awful for such a long time, I don’t think you’re doing anything right.
That’s just a few. Now here is his take on Mr. Amaro:
I honestly have no idea how to rate Amaro. One pennant in one year is a nice record, and having landed two of baseball’s five best pitchers — Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee — in trade within a few months is even better given that these were moves he alone gets credit for. On the other hand the truly strange trade sending Lee to Seattle and the odd, if so far successful, decision to sign 37-year-old designated hitter-masquerading-as-an-outfielder Raul Ibanez to a long-term contract have to count heavily against him.
So you’re telling me that trading Lee to sustain a farm system and allow the Phillies to be a serious competitor for many years makes Amaro unworthy of not being in the top half of baseball?
Let’s break this down:
The Phillies trade for Halladay and keep Lee. After 2010 Lee is a free agent and signs with another team. The Phillies are left with only Dom Brown as the only legit prospect in the system. Or the Phillies trade Lee and get Tyson Gillies, Phillippe Aumont, and Juan Ramirez in return to give the Phillies two note-worthy pitching prospects and another good OF prospect along with Brown when they see Jayson Werth and/or Ibanez walk.
Now let’s talk about Ibanez. I didn’t know three years were considered long-term. And if I’m nost mistaken, if it weren’t for a groin injury that is healed now, Ibanez would have had an MVP-candidate season insteasd of tailing off after his All Star selection.
How about holding onto Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, and Joe Blanton? What about letting go expendable arms like Tyler Walker, Chan Ho Park, and Brett Myers. What about revamping a bench that finished near the cellar? If he successfully signs Jayson Werth after the 2010 season, will Amaro maybe move up to 17th?
The only thing I can see towards a dropped rating for Amaro is his youth and him only having one year under his belt. But then again, why is Zduriencik #5?
John Gonzalez is right: Sports Illustrated lost a lot of credibility in my mind with that statement. But the credibility lost goes to Marchman for being an idiot and to the magazine for hiring one.