There are many different personas that cross over into all different areas of life. There are heroes, there are villains, there are winners, there are losers, there are those who influence, and there are those who are influenced. One persona which is personified in all realms of life, even more so than all of the aforementioned ones, is that of scapegoats.
Unfortunately, this is even truer in Philadelphia. In a city where passion sometime trumps reason, scapegoats are inevitable.
This being said, it comes without question that Ruben Amaro Jr. has become the biggest scapegoat in the Philadelphia sports scene. While Sixers General Manager Sam Hinke gets praised for losing nearly every game of the past few seasons, Amaro gets riddled with insults on a daily basis.
The newest stabs at our poor scapegoat Ruben are a result of a latter pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, the selection of Andrew Amaro, Ruben’s nephew.
Now, let me make three things very clear:
1) Andrew Amaro is no scrub, he can play baseball
This past year Amaro batted .320 with an On Base Percentage of .483. With that, Amaro tallied 47 runs, 9 doubles, 3 triples, and 25 RBI’s. For a more complete look at his statistics take a look here. All of these statistics came while playing for the University of Tampa, the third best ranked team in the entire Division II South region, and a team that sent a total of seven players to the majors this year. Tampa finished with an overall record of 35-13.
2) Ruben Amaro does not do the drafting himself
While it is obvious that Ruben himself was not at the 2015 MLB Draft, it is for some reason less obvious that Ruben did not choose the 2015 draft picks. Not only did he not choose these picks directly but he did not choose these picks indirectly either. There is an entire process, yes, just like how there is a process in rebuilding itself, behind the draft. There are weeks and weeks of preparation with dozens of experts scouting throughout all the regions of the United States looking for the best players to draft. If you do not believe me, here is a picture of the Phillies’ draft room on draft night.
It’s a few more people than just the evil Amaro himself isn’t it?
3) Nepotism is a very common occurrence in Major League Baseball
As unfair as it might be, nepotism occurs in baseball just as it occurs in the workforce. It is not uncommon. The Phillies not only drafted Amaro’s nephew but they also drafted the sons of Dave Brundage, Mickey Morandini, and Tom McCarthy. But nepotism is not only common in the Phillies organization; it is evident in every single draft, every single year. The further you get into the draft, the more common names you see. Do a simple google search, nepotism is everywhere and to accuse just Ruben Amaro of it is unwholesome.
Now my argument I make here is not merely one to defend the selection of Ruben Amaro’s nephew Andrew Amaro, it is my defense for the livelihood of Ruben Amaro himself.
Yes, I am well are that the Phillies are currently the worst team in baseball. Yet, is it fair to peg the entire blame of such failures on one man? Absolutely not. Just as winning is a team effort, losing is a team effort as well.
While it might be difficult for some to see, the Phillies are in fact rebuilding. The organization has been carefully bringing up younger talent through the system as witnessed by the recent recall of Dominic Brown to Philadelphia, Aaron Nola to Lehigh, and J.P. Crawford to Reading. And on top of that, the Phillies 2015 draft was very successful as they drafted some of the best possible bats available.
So, while Amaro’s comments a few weeks ago may have been out of line, I can understand his frustration as it seems that some of us do not understand the process, the same process which the Sixers are going through that we all praise. Instead, we would rather just dole out our anger on a man who has no ability to make our players play better.
Believe me, the Philles are just as painful, if not even more painful, for Ruben to watch as they are for us.
To continue to harass Ruben for the Phillies’ decision to draft Andrew Amaro is painstakingly unnecessary and really just another reason for Phillies fans to complain.