An Angry Amaro Defends Utley, Himself

Angry may not be the best word. More like “annoyed.”

Whichever word you want to use, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro is not in the cheeriest of moods lately. The injuries to his star players have led to speculation on how much truth has been divulged to the media and fan base this spring and Amaro fired back today.

Amaro truly believed that Chase Utley would be ready for Opening Day, that is until Utley left on March 18 to see a specialist for his knee and Amaro said that Freddy Galvis would be the starter on April 5.

At least that’s what Amaro said.

“I honestly believed we still had Chase Utley playing for us opening day up until he said, ‘I’ve got to go see another specialist because I’m not feeling well enough,'” said Amaro earlier today to reporters.

Even more, Amaro is not pleased that people think he would lie to the public.

“I’m not trying to deceive anybody,” Amaro said. “Why would I lie to the public? How is that going to make the organization’s relationship with the public better? What benefit would I have to tell you Chase is fine when I know that he’s not?”

Now, it’s understandable to lie about the pursuit of free agents and players on the trade block like he did with Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in 2009 and 2010. But the health of the franchise’s most iconic player in the last two decades is nothing to lie about, whether Amaro did or not.

Utley said on Sunday that he wanted Amaro to not go into detail where the second baseman was going last week as to not raise speculation. But despite that sentiment, speculation on how Amaro and Utley handled everything went under fire.

Amaro still believes his second baseman didn’t hold anything from anyone either.

“I had no reason,” Amaro said, “to think after he played so much at the end of the year and basically got through it… he would have told me, ‘Ruben, I’m not doing so good.’ He never indicated that. He felt confident that he was going to be fine.”

Whatever becomes of this mess, the Phillies will still be without their star second baseman and Amaro will have to find a way to make this team get through the first couple months of the season without Utley.


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