Ruben Amaro supports Ryne Sandberg in wake of losing streak
About last night…. well, if you didn't see or read anything about it, be thankful.
But a 19-3 bludgeoning in Baltimore produced a big enough hangover that the general manager of the free-falling Phillies spent 20 minutes talk about the state of his team four hours before the Phils and Orioles took their home-and-home series to Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night.
Phillies pitchers served up 8 home runs - a Baltimore franchise record. They sent Jeff Francoeur out to pitch two innings. They didn't want Francouer out there for all two innings, but the phone was off the hook in the bullpen - really - so they could not get a pitcher warmed up.
This is Major League Baseball, folks. And so here is some of what Amaro said in the wake of Tuesday's forgettable Phillies performance.
"Clearly we haven't been playing well now and it needs to be better," Amaro said. "Other than (Tuesday's) game, we've actually been battling pretty well. We had a decent weekend as far as, not wins and losses, but we battled. We pitched fairly well. We just haven't been able to swing the bat. We're not hitting and we need to hit better. It's pretty simple."
Q: Did you watch the game?
Amaro: I didn't get a chance to see every pitch, but I saw parts of it.
Q: Did you see the confusion on the mound at the end?
Amaro: I'm aware of it. It's a mishap that can happen, but can never happen again. It's been discussed. Taken care of.
Q: Aren't you embarrassed?
Amaro: Well, it's not our greatest moment, but it's been addressed.
Q: Is Ryne Sandberg's job safe?
Amaro: I'm fully supportive of Ryne. Yeah. I guess there's a lot of social media stuff going out there about him. We're fully supportive of Ryne and the staff. We've had our challenges this year. There's no question. We have not played nearly as well as we'd have liked, but there's plenty of baseball left and, like I said, we're trying to do what we can do improve. I know that Ryno and his staff are trying to do that."
Q: Sandberg will finish out season and then be reevaluated?
Amaro: "As far as I'm concerned, yes.
Q: Chase Utley seemed particularly frustrated with (pitching coach Bob) McClure last night with no pitcher ready to take over for Francoeur.
Amaro: "I think there's a lot of frustration when you're losing games and not having a lot of success. I'm sure that Chase is not all that pleased with his own particular performance and the performance of the team. None of us are. You're going to get moments like that. Those things happen and we'll move forward.
Q: Your thoughts on speculation ownership could be bringing in a new team president?
Amaro: "I really don't have any comment about that. That's not my area. That's for people who are hiring than my pay grade.
Q: Would that kind of hiring bode poorly for you?
Amaro: "I'll answer it the same way I just answered the first question."
Q: With Ken Giles incident on Friday and then last night that's two public mix-ups in a few days. Concerned?
Amaro: I don't think it was mix-ups. I think it was just frustration. When things aren't going well and you're losing and not having a lot of success … these are all competitive people. They're human beings. I don't think any of these guys want to lose. I don't think anybody on the staff wants to lose. When you're losing, you get frustrated and emotions get high. I don't have any problem with guys having emotion. I just have to be directed in the right way.
Q: Feel like you're playing for your job at trade deadline?
Amaro: "I don't worry about doing my job to save my job. I have to do my job well so this organization can get back on its feet and do the things we need to do to be a perennial contender. That was the plan at the outset of this offseason. We were going to rebuild. We were not going to be a great ballclub. We were not going to be a contending team. We know that we're going to take some lumps and I see a lot of positive things that are happening in our minor-league system right now. There's a lot of lights at the end of the tunnel for us … Aaron Nola and J.P. Crawford ... Biddle threw well yesterday. … We just had what we thought was a very, very good draft. That's really where our focus is now.
Q: Easy to do your job while dealing with fan pressure?
Amaro: "It's funny because I think fans over the last couple of years were like, 'What aren't we rebuilding? Break it down!' Then when you break it down, 'Why aren't we winning?' The fact of the matter is that's the nature of the beast. That's the nature of being in Philadelphia. I understand it. I get it. But being a contender, which is what we want to be … if we have to take a little heat and take a few steps backwards, if that's what we have to do … that's what we're doing."