The Tuesday 10: 10 Minutes to Midnight

Ruben Amaro was a polarizing general manager before he was even officially offered the job. The baseball world was made well aware that Pat Gillick would not be reprising his role at the helm after the 2008 season concluded – and winning a World Series probably helped with that transition out of the captain’s chair – and that the Phillies would need a new GM. It seemed then that there were only two candidates, both internal: the current assistant GM in Amaro, or the fellow AGM and scouting head in Mike Arbuckle.

It’s a story you’re all familiar with by now and isn’t worth rambling on about ad nauseum. That time will probably come next month.

Instead, I think this week’s post is about acceptance or, at least, assumed acceptance. GM firings and replacements are far more infrequent occurrences than with managers, so it just seems the smart play to assume Amaro gets at least another year to work through the rough water he himself is partially responsible for stirring up. And with that assumption in mind, Amaro is the most important piece involved in this transitional period for the Phils. That may scare you a little, as it does me, but it seems the apparent truth.

Removing Amaro from play upon that assumption, then, today’s 10 will focus on the 10 most important “factors” (for lack of a better word) for the Phillies as they move forward through this season and beyond.

10. Freddy Galvis

The kid’s got a superlative glove, ad has shown to be exceptional at second base, very good at shortstop (in less time there) and above average at third base, according to my own eye test. Defensive metrics probably haven’t stabilized enough at the latter two positions to give a solid feel one way or another, but that’s beside the point.

There’s a very real chance neither Jimmy Rollins nor Chase Utley will be members of the Phillies after this season. Galvis will be The Replacement for whoever leaves first, and will eventually fill in long-term (or however long he can) at shortstop. The guy has to hit at least a little bit, or he’ll either become most useful as a bench/utility player or be a zero sum shortstop whose lack of bat cancels out his leather. A happy medium would be somewhere between those two.

9. Ryne Sandberg

His impact this season will be tangibly minimal, but the Hall of Famer is the heir apparent to Charlie Manuel’s managerial seat. How will his tactics differ from Manuel’s? Will he have more of a roster to work with than Manuel has the last two years (unlikely), and will he know how to keep his players’ heads in the game and their respect on his side? Only one way to find out.

8. Antonio Bastardo

Bastardo is a microcosm of a bigger issue, but he’s its most prominent figure. Left-handed relief has been spotty and inconsistent, at best, for the Phillies since Scott Eyre wrapped up his 2008 campaign. Since, LHP to log any significant relief time for the Phillies have been, by and large, control-deficient (J.C. Romero, Juan Perez, Jake Diekman) or kept around for their ability to log multiple innings (Raul Valdes, Jeremy Horst) while being marginally effective. Bastardo was supposed to overwhelm his control problems with wicked stuff, striking out enough to offset a 4.5 or so BB/9.

That would have to be a big number, and it was for two seasons. Then the first half of 2013 has happened, and all of a sudden, the Phillies are without a surefire lefty reliever again. His impact may only be 50 or so innings per year, but somebody has to get the LHBs out from the left side of the mound, lest we try to watch the likes of Chad Durbin get it done again.

7. Roy Halladay

Doc will not be paid $20 million in 2014, or ever again, for pitching baseballs. But his health and whatever remains of his effectiveness could be important for the Phillies in 2014 even still.

If the Phillies believe they can assemble some sort of a contender for ’14, a cheap Doc could be worth the retention cost. Hell, even if they don’t think they’ll be competitive, persuading Halladay to stick around and continue to educate the likes of Jonathan Pettibone or (gulp) Tyler Cloyd or maybe even Adam Morgan could prove valuable in incalculable ways. Assuming, of course, Doc would forego the chance at winning, which certainly seems unlikely.

6. Jonathan Papelbon

Papelbon is an excellent reliever making $13M annually now through 2015 (plus a ’16 option) who has no place on this Phillies team. With a team like the Tigers and their open-pocket owner Mike Ilitch seeking top-notch relief help, the Phillies may not only find themselves lighter on the salary ledger, but may actually net a useful young player in return. No, not Nick Castellanos, but maybe someone of positive value.

If it sounds like that’s shooting low, it’s because it is. Setting your sights low can sometimes make things look extra good in the end. So that’s the hope here.

5. Ryan Howard

There is no hope of trading Howard’s contract, no possibility of getting useful young players in return for unloading his myriad millions. What matters is Howard getting back to full strength – whatever percentage that would be of his former self – and being a player whose skills at the plate are respected once more.

Hey, he’s signed for the next three seasons and will make $10M when his 2017 option is bought out (sad how forgone a conclusion that feels this far out), so I’d rather he make that money being a positive contributor on this club, instead of being a net negative or, far more embarrassingly, eventually released.

4. Domonic Brown

Is his breakout for real? Can he reliably be an .850 OPS guy through his mid-20s? He’s currently the team’s best hitter by a fair margin, but with uncertainty about whether he can maintain this production yet, that’s pretty shaky ground for the club. If Brown proves to be a mid-order bat, he can be built around. This is no longer a “can he be a complementary bat in a decently strong 2011 offense” situation, but a “can he be a building block for 2014-17″ situation. Slight difference.

3. Maikel Franco

You could make the argument for Jesse Biddle as perhaps the organization’s best overall prospect, but a breakout season thus far in 2013 has pushed Franco to the forefront, leapfrogging fellow third base prospect Cody Asche. He’s the club’s best position prospect, in my eyes, given Roman Quinn’s lesser performance at a lower level at almost the same age (Franco is nine months older). Michael Young is only under contract through this year, and reliance on Kevin Frandsen to fill that role upon his departure will only take you so far for so long.

Besides, aren’t you as tired of the reliance on older players as I am?

2. Cliff Lee

He should be traded. No, he has to be traded. And more than that, he will be traded.

Lee is one of the best pitchers in baseball, signed for what free agency would deem a reasonable amount of money for the remainder of his current deal. At least, it would be reasonable if the Phillies were a playoff-caliber team as currently constructed. They are not.

Lee is performing like a top-tier pitcher, one whose price tag would be manageable, in full, for any contending team looking to take him on. Of course, since the Phillies are not contending (and don’t appear as though they will next year, either), the leverage shifts to the buyers, who can hold prime returns in abeyance until the Phillies cave on eating some of the money. And so it may have to be, but if it means getting such a return, the money should be eaten. With the right acquisitions, that sunk money will be paid for in only a few years.

1. Cole Hamels

Hamels should not be traded, and he won’t be traded. Instead, Hamels is the key piece that will linger on past the 2013 trade deadline and the ’13-14 offseason. He will be the team’s opening day starter next season, if healthy, and he’s a strong bet to play out that entire year in red pinstripes, as well. And this is the most important thing to the club moving forward because Hamels is still a cornerstone piece, just not for too much longer.

Hamels turns 30 this December. Three Phillies pitchers since 1987 have accumulated 10+ rWAR for the club after turning 30: Curt Schilling, Lee and Halladay. His recent string of starts shows just how effective he still is and, presumably, will be for a couple more years yet. But, like all Major Leaguers, Hamels’s clock is running out faster than he, or any of us, likely realize. At least, probability says so. Sure, the hope is that Cole will go on to pitch 30 times a year until he’s 40, when he’ll then convert into the next Darren Oliver and keep getting outs until he needs to ride a Jazzy to the mound.

But that’s not the reasonable hope. The reasonable hope is that Amaro and Co. can reshape this team around Hamels, their homegrown ace, so that his peak talents can help land the club another World Series before his time is up. He is the sun around which this club must orbit, lest it all go supernova.

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36 comments

  1. Richard

    June 18, 2013 01:42 PM

    Regarding Galvis, I find it interesting that the defensive metrics (regular SSS caveats, etc) do not like him at second this year, but do like him at the other positions, including left. This incidentally tracks my own eye test, as ball after ball slips past him to his left. Makes me wonder what it is that made Utley position himself the way he does. Did he figure that out on his own, or did someone coach him?

  2. Phillie697

    June 18, 2013 04:39 PM

    Utley has always been known to be a very smart player. I don’t think Galvis was ever viewed that way; his defense is mostly athleticism.

  3. Ryan

    June 18, 2013 05:09 PM

    But Freddy’s a baseball player…a baseball player I tell you!

  4. Bruce Dickinson

    June 18, 2013 07:45 PM

    Thanks for the reference! Up the irons!

  5. hk

    June 19, 2013 06:14 AM

    11. Delmon Young: How much longer do we have to suffer with this guy in red pinstripes? It is amazing that we are stuck with a GM who signed this guy when every fan except the blind RAJ loyalists knew it was a bad idea and an Assistant GM who uses this guy as his definition of a baseball player.

    @ Pencilfish,

    How much longer do you think they should stick with Delmon, who is now at an incredible -0.8 WAR in only 145 PA’s? Last year it took him 608 PA’s to accumulate -0.9 WAR. Do your eyes still tell you that he’s playing acceptable defense and providing acceptable base running? And, the answer to your inevitable question is that I would start JMJ (0.5 WAR in 167 PA’s) in RF most of the time with Nix getting some time, too and I would replace DY on the roster with any replacement level player that can be had for nothing.

  6. Mark

    June 19, 2013 08:21 AM

    I would have to disagree with your notion that Cliff Lee has to be traded. As you mentioned, Lee is paid a reasonable amount of money in relation to his performance. He’s one of the few players on the team earning his salary. It is close to a given that Amaro will not get good value in return based on every previous trade he’s made. Why give up a #1 starter for $0.50 on the dollar?

  7. Phillie697

    June 19, 2013 11:53 AM

    @Mark,

    Because:

    1) we wouldn’t be giving up a #1 starter for 50 cents on the dollar; the prospects we get back from such a trade would be ones who we as fans can truly salivate over, not the bunch we have in the minors so far that we have to convince ourselves into having high hopes for because we ain’t got nothing else.

    2) Spending $500k on a thorough bred horse when you have a jockey who can’t even ride a horse would not win you any races, and if you’re stuck with said jockey, you shouldn’t spend the $500k. You wait until you have a real jockey before getting said thorough bred. That’s what a good GM does.

  8. Mark

    June 19, 2013 12:41 PM

    What in Amaro’s history as GM would suggest he would get any valuable prospects in return? None of the prospects from the first Lee trade have panned out. Aumont showed some encouraging signs, but can’t throw strikes again. And I wouldn’t call a bullpen prospect anything to salivate over. None of the prospects from the Pence trade w/ San Fran have panned out. There is absolutely nothing Amaro has done that should give fans confidence he will get any good prospects.

    Is Amaro the jockey in your thoroughbred analogy?

  9. Pencilfish

    June 19, 2013 01:34 PM

    hk,

    We don’t disagree about doing something with DY. Either bench, trade or release him. I expect that to happen before July 31. I realize you wanted it done yesterday (or last month), but consider the ramifications. JMJ’s stats over his 5 seasons as a Phillie suggest he’s just a replacement-level platoon player, despite his 0.5 WAR in 2013. JMJ is not Hunter Pence, Nelson Cruz or Curtis Granderson in RF, and he may give the Phillies an extra 1 or 2 wins over the remainder of 2013, which is not enough to make a difference anyway.

    Also, start JMJ, and we lose the power RH bat off the bench. What do we do if the Phillies are trailing (or tied) in the late innings with a runner on 2nd and 2 outs, and the opposing team trots out their LHP when it is not Mayberry’s turn at bat? Sure, we could promote Ruf and have him sit on the bench for these situations, but the Phillies have not brought him up yet, suggesting: a) they don’t want to restart his arbitration clock, or b) he’s not much of an upgrade over JMJ or DY, or c) they are still grooming him to be an OF and want to provide regular playing time in the minors.

    Bottom line is, getting rid of DY saves us a few pennies (in MLB parlance) but doesn’t really address the RF performance problem.

  10. NickFromGermantown

    June 19, 2013 01:35 PM

    I think Lee’s greatest value is to remain on the Phillies. I have no confidence that Amaro will get any value for him and I enjoy having at least a handful of things that I like about watching the Phillies.

  11. hk

    June 19, 2013 02:11 PM

    Pencilfish,

    Sadly, the organization is so void of talent that 75% JMJ / 25% Nix is the best option. Even though it is a bad option relative to just about every other MLB team and it might produce slightly above replacement level results over the last 90 games, why would you want the team to do anything other than put the best option out there, especially if you remain optimistic that they can get back into the playoff race in the 2nd half? This team has so little margin for error, what does it tell you about the GM that he is continuing to cost the team games by keeping DY on the roster? It tells me that he is stubborn and/or afraid to admit to management that another of his moves was a failure.

    As far as Ruf is concerned, I doubt they’re concerned about his arbitration clock. I think the real problem with Ruf is that he’s not a good prospect. He has a .751 OPS in AAA at age 27.

  12. Pencilfish

    June 19, 2013 03:11 PM

    Paul,

    The reference to Maikel Franco and the connection to Michael Young’s contract and Kevin Frandsen’s role in the same paragraph seems a bit premature. Franco is a 20-yr-old who hasn’t played above high-A yet, so it’s hard to believe he is even in the picture for 2014. If Young is moved by July 31, I think Asche gets a look at the hot-corner this summer and next spring before Franco. Franco may turn out to be the better 3B, but it’s too early to tell.

    Not sure why you advocate building around Hamels, whom you presume will be elite for a couple more years, but not Lee. If Hamels can lead the Phillies back to contention in 2015 (while he’s still elite), why wouldn’t we want Pap and Lee as well, assuming they are still elite, too? If your argument is that we can get decent prospects in return for Pap and Lee, that’s iffy at best. In essence, you are saying Hamels + prospects have a better chance to take us back to the post-season than Hamels + Lee + Pap. Baseball history is littered with examples of stars traded for prospects who never rise above mediocrity.

  13. Maggie

    June 19, 2013 11:37 PM

    God that was a depressing 10, Paul.

  14. hk

    June 20, 2013 06:36 AM

    “Baseball history is littered with examples of stars traded for prospects who never rise above mediocrity.”

    Isn’t history also littered with trades where the team that received the prospects got significantly more value than the team that received the star?

    * Bartolo Colon for Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips and Cliff Lee
    * Mark Teixiera for Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison, Neftali Feliz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    * Zack Greinke for Jean Segura

    When looking at deals of this sort, not only do you have to review the talent that was exchanged, you also have to factor in the cost of the players, their years under team control and the team trading the star’s ability to spend the money that they save on other players.

    There’s no black and white here as it pertains to trading Lee or Papelbon or anyone on the Phillies’ roster. If they are out of it by July 31, they should get the best return possible for any player who is not part of their plans for 2014. For those who are signed for 2014 and beyond, if the return in prospects and salary cap relief is good enough, they should pull the trigger. If not, they should keep those players.

  15. Cutter

    June 20, 2013 09:25 AM

    Everyone seems hot to trade Cliff Lee. A couple of warnings:

    1. Trading Lee is essentially giving up the 2014 season. It doesn’t seem like the team could possibly be as good next year without Lee.

    2. There is no guarantee that Lee returns this “can’t miss” prospect that everyone seems to assume. For proof of this, witness the three previous times Lee has been traded.

  16. hk

    June 20, 2013 11:04 AM

    Cutter,

    1. If the team wisely spends the money that they save from trading Lee, why can’t they be as good – as if that’s some great feat – as this year? I get that Lee’s great. However, as great as he is, there’s no guarantee that he’ll provide an extraordinary amount of excess value over his $24M AAV in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

    2. I don’t think that anyone is looking for RAJ to trade Lee for 2013’s equivalent of Aumont, Gillies and Ramirez. Maybe, after three failed attempts, a team is due to get a significant return from trading Lee.

    Nobody should be hot to trade Lee; however, if a team offers enough (in prospects and salary cap relief) in return, it should at least be considered.

  17. Gabe

    June 20, 2013 11:04 AM

    Wait I’m confused…Don’t we currently have Hamels, Lee, and Papelbon and are currently 7.5 games out of the wild card. Everything points to little help from the prospects. So what would change next year? Kendrick have another step change and become the 3rd Ace?

  18. Pencilfish

    June 20, 2013 11:23 AM

    hk,

    People are implicitly assuming the trades for Lee/Pap will bring in prospects that will blossom into stars, but talent is irrelevant if it does not produce on the field.
    The vast majority of prospects never reach the majors. If anyone knows where we can get that data, it would be interesting to find out how many 1st-round picks (the so-called “can’t miss” talent) even reach the majors by the time they turn 25.

    My earlier comment was in the context of fielding a competitive team through the lifetime of Hamels’ contract, not just 2014. To say that Hamels + prospects gives a more competitive team over Hamels + Lee + Pap is an incredible leap of faith, because it assumes what I described in the 1st sentence.

    As I said before, about $46M will come off the books this winter when Utley, Ruiz, Halladay and Michael Young’s contracts are up. If the goal is to field a competitive team in 2014 (and beyond), this should be enough to address some of our offensive shortcomings without needlessly sacrificing Lee + Pap.

  19. hk

    June 20, 2013 11:50 AM

    Pencilfish,

    I agree that, if they spend that $46M wisely, they should be able to get more production from C, 2B, 3B and SP than the 1.5 WAR that they have gotten so far from those 4 players. That being said, that should not preclude them from trading Lee or Papelbon if the return is good enough.

  20. Pencilfish

    June 20, 2013 12:24 PM

    hk,

    If the goal is to retool for the long-term (say, 2018 and beyond), I agree we should be open to trading Lee + Pap if the upside on the prospects is high. If, however, the goal is to field a competitive team in 2014, we can’t trade Lee + Pap for prospects. It must be major-league ready. It will be tough enough retooling at 3B, 2B, RF and C and remaining competitive in 2014, even with Lee + Pap. Imagine if we also had to sign a bona-fide #1 SP and a closer.

  21. Phillie697

    June 20, 2013 01:08 PM

    @Mark,

    I hear you about the lack of confidence in getting anything of value back for Lee, but if Lee isn’t going to help this team win anything anyway, I think spending $25M a year on a pitcher just for the privilege of watching him pitch for my team might be a tad bit too much money to pay. But I can see your point though, that we should have something to cheer for.

  22. Phillie697

    June 20, 2013 01:09 PM

    @Pencilfish,

    Those of us advocating trading Lee do so because we realize 2014 is a lost cause as well. I mean, so far we’ve been right about 2013, no?

  23. Cutter

    June 20, 2013 01:45 PM

    @hk-

    “If the team wisely spends the money that they save from trading Lee, why can’t they be as good – as if that’s some great feat – as this year? ”

    Who are these players that they’re going to “wisely” spend the money on?

    You can only go after players who are available. Chances are, they’re not going to be as good as Lee, and they might end up costing even more.

    Last year, they traded Pence which freed up some money. Unfortunately, the potential replacement free agents haven’t been as good as Pence, and have, for the most part, cost more than he did.

    Money is great to have. But to re-work an old cliche: A star player in hand is worth two potential free agents.

  24. hk

    June 20, 2013 03:10 PM

    Cutter,

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m okay with the Phils trading Lee if I like the terms of the deal. I’m just saying that to blindly dismiss it out-of-hand makes no sense. There are multiple ways that the team could go to improve their chances to win a World Series in the foreseeable future. One of them is trading a 34 year old star pitcher while he’s still a star rather than run the risk that he declines while earning ~$24M per year in his age 35 through age 37 seasons. Remember, Roy Halladay was 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA in hs age 34 season. Now, I’m not saying that Lee will fall off the same cliff that Roy fell off, but if it happens….

  25. Pencilfish

    June 20, 2013 05:30 PM

    RAJ just gave another interview to fend off continuing rumors that Lee and Pap are available. This may be posturing to drive up the price, but the words coming out of his mouth make perfect sense:

    “Absolutely not, because these are guys I’d be better off having on my club than not,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told The Associated Press. “Who am I going to replace these guys with to win a championship? These are championship-caliber players. If we think about moving these guys, then I better be getting someone of better or equal value and I just don’t see that happening.”

    “It’s about trying to improve your club whether it’s for the short term, the long term or both,” Amaro said. “It depends on your perspective. You are almost always buying because if you are moving veteran guys for younger guys that can help your future then you are still buying something. For me, it’s about trying to fortify your club at the major league level or minor league level.”

    “If I have to make changes, it’s about going sideways,” Amaro said. “If I have to go sideways to get better for later on, then that’s something I have to consider but I don’t have enough pieces that I like to go blow it up. Why would I want to blow it up when my job is to try and be a contender every year?”

  26. hk

    June 20, 2013 07:16 PM

    Great quote Pencilfish. I find that it’s an interesting one coming from the man who traded Cliff Lee, fresh off a great World Series, for three weak prospects. This is also from the man who traded away Hunter Pence and replaced him in RF with Delmon Young.

  27. hk

    June 20, 2013 07:18 PM

    Great quote. I find it interesting coming from the man who traded Cliff Lee, fresh off a great World Series, for three weak prospects and who traded away Hunter Pence and replaced him in RF with Delmon Young.

  28. hk

    June 20, 2013 07:22 PM

    Sorry for the double post. I accidentally submitted it before I was ready.

  29. Pencilfish

    June 20, 2013 10:03 PM

    There’s more. Below is David Montgomery on RAJ and the state of the 2013 Phillies. Monty also subtly outlined the Phillies’ apparent strategy in July: keep some of the better-known prospects such as Biddle and Asche, while remaining open-minded about trading away some veterans such as Pap and the expiring contracts (Utley, Young and Ruiz). In other words, it seems we won’t be parting with promising prospects in July.

    *********************

    Montgomery, the Phillies’ president and the only man with an opinion on Amaro that matters, defended his general manager Wednesday.

    “The reality is that when things don’t go well, people look to find, well, whose fault is it?” Montgomery said. “I believe in situations like this that when times are good there’s enough credit to go around. It’s all of us. Ruben is not making independent decisions. He’s going with a pretty good group of eyes who are looking out there at players and making determinations. God knows we’re all trying to bat 1.000 on decision making. The reality is, I think we do better than the .300 standard in baseball.”

    Montgomery said this is a difficult time for Amaro and his staff because the Phillies are an organization in transition.

    “We came into this season with more than one or two needs,” he said. “In recent years, we had really been fortunate. We were able to say, ‘We could use an outfielder or we could use somebody to replace Pedro Feliz at third.’ The canvas has gotten a little bit broader. You add to that the uncertainty of the health and it has made the equation a little bit tougher.”

  30. hk

    June 21, 2013 05:39 AM

    Wow, it’s disappointing to know that the owner sets the bar for good decisions by his GM at 30%, a level that I would argue he has failed to meet. I wish Monty would at least accept basic sabermetrics and raise the bar to an OBP of .350.

  31. Phillie697

    June 21, 2013 09:47 AM

    @hk,

    Yeah, but in saber, if you hit HRs everytime you come up to bat, it’s okay if you hit .250 and can’t walk worth a darn. Not to say that describes RAJ, mind you.

  32. Pencilfish

    June 21, 2013 09:56 AM

    hk,

    RAJ is under contract through 2014. It is not surprising Monty is supportive right now. Like most of us, Monty wants to see what happens through the remainder of 2013 and if RAJ can address the lineup issues and decide who manages the team in 2014 and beyond.

    The alternative is to fire the GM and manager at the end of the season and guarantee turmoil in 2014. I say “turmoil” because it takes time to find a new GM, who then searches for a new manager. Many FA’s will be gone by then, thus insuring another .500 (or worse) season in 2014.

  33. hk

    June 22, 2013 08:18 AM

    “The alternative is to fire the GM and manager at the end of the season and guarantee turmoil in 2014.”

    Does replacing a GM guarantee turmoil the following year? Is that the excuse for RAJ giving out bad contracts to Moyer and Ibanez upon taking over for Gillick after the ’08 season? Isn’t it at least a possibility that firing the GM and replacing him with a new, more competent one, will put the team in better position to spend the money coming off the books?

  34. Pencilfish

    June 22, 2013 09:27 PM

    hk,

    Note the premise is fire the GM A-N-D manager, not just the GM. More competent? A new GM only assures you he’s new, not more competent.

    I stand by the turmoil comment, and I expect Monty to be turmoil-adverse two years before the new TV contract. Turmoil increases the chance fans and potential FA avoid the team, which leads to revenue loss and a bad TV contract. If Monty does that, it simply means the ownership is incompetent.

  35. hk

    June 23, 2013 06:03 AM

    Do you have any statistical back-up to your assumed fact that teams with new managers and GM’s do worse in those men’s first year together? It is something that is hard for me to research, but I’m sure others – hopefully you – have the statistics. I could only find 3 of the current 30 GM’s who brought in new managers in their first year on the job, Kevin Towers in Arizona, Jack Z. in Seattle and Doug Melvin in Milwaukee. The results are as follows:

    * In Arizona’s first season under Towers with Kirk Gibson as the new manager, they improved from 65 to 94 games.

    * In Seattle’s first season under Jack Z. with Don Wakamatsu as the new manager, the team improved from 61 to 85 wins.

    * In Milwaukee’s first season under Doug Melvin with Ned Yost as the new manager, the team improved from 56 to 68 wins.

    Now, I get that 3 situations makes for a small sample size, but it also shows that recent history refutes your claim.

  36. amarosucks

    June 27, 2013 12:02 PM

    If raj is the GM in 2014, it’s inevitable that they suck. Just get rid of him already…then stop pretending like it’s still 1983 and hire someone who at least accepts some saber principles.

    This franchise is a rudderless disaster

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