One of my pet causes over the last two years or so has been to push back against the wave of overwhelmingly negative invective hurled at GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. for the Phillies’ failures since the end of the 2011 NLDS. Amaro has certainly made some mistakes, but fans and pundits have been quick to write off any decision he has made as foolish before all of the facts are in or the results are known.
The Phillies have been on one of the most obvious downward trends a team could possibly be on: winning the World Series in 2008, losing the World Series in ’09, losing the NLCS in ’10, losing the NLDS in ’11, finishing at .500 in third place in the NL East in ’12, finishing in fourth place in ’13 with 73 wins, and finishing in the cellar last season with 73 wins. The immediate future isn’t much brighter: FanGraphs projects the Phillies to be baseball’s worst team, and they face long odds of winning the World Series. It’s a frustrating time to be a Phillies fan. Oftentimes, that frustration comes out in the form of knee-jerk negativity and cynicism.