Ruben Amaro, “quietly underwent a frontal lobotomy last offseason that has turned the Stanford graduate into a babbling idiot” writes the Philadelphia Daily News’ Paul Hagen, mocking those who look at the Phillies’ current 3rd place status and hold the GM accountable, particularly in light of last winter’s failure to keep Cliff Lee when making the Roy Halliday deal. With Lee traded to the Texas Rangers earlier today, Hagen scolds Amaro’s critics ; “Don’t you think that if he could have had both aces he’d have done it?”
One more time: The Phillies made Lee an offer. He turned it down. He may have thought this was the start of negotiations, but he miscalculated. Amaro turned to Roy Halladay instead. And, really, is anybody going to complain about that?
The rejoinder is that, well, yeah, why not get Halladay and also keep Lee for 1 year, shoot for the moon? It’s an alluring scenario. Except that the Phillies already had so much money invested in the lineup, that it was prudent to try to ensure that they would have a decent rotation to go with it. Halladay and Joe Blanton were birds in the hand. Cole Hamels and J.A. Happ were contracts under control. And anybody who doesn’t remember that Blanton was the Phillies’ most reliable starter last season until Lee arrived just isn’t playing fair.
Amaro wasn’t a genius last year. He’s not a dope now. His legacy is still in the early stages of being written.