INT. GENERAL MANAGER’S OFFICE – DAY
RUBEN AMARO, JR. sits at his desk, reading a piece of paper. Silence. Casually, he turns to his left and COUGHS GENTLY. A REPORTER sticks his head in the doorway almost immediately.
Stress over the Halladay deal making you sick, Ruben?
No, I was–
Philly Inquirer headline that afternoon: ”DYING AMARO DEMANDS HALLADAY; SCREAMS AT JOURNALIST.”
When you’re the team linked to one of the greatest, if not the greatest, pitcher in professional baseball, every action, every word, every flutter of the eye lashes is seen as a move in his direction. And, as Philadelphia is descended on by some ironically Toronto-esque weather patterns, Amaro’s actions are speaking louder than his denials.
It’s become apparent that the bullpen is going to be the sticky wicket in Amaro’s three-part plan.
With Chan Ho Park intent on making the entire country of Korea nervous, it was announced that Clay Condrey, a guy whose numbers out of the bullpen were fine (6-2, 3.00 ERA), but marred by injury, has been dropped like it’s hot. Or, like he’s hot. Which he was.
Okay, no more pop culture references. Too hard.
Why would the Phillies take this consistent, reliable reliever out of their back pocket and toss him into the fire pit? To free up that precious, precious cap space for the strange and wonderful Halladay. We were close to the the $140 million limit before arbitration, and now that Victorino, Durbin, Ruiz, and Blanton have been taken care of, there are no more pending withdrawals.
Amaro also claimed that his plans were to come to a deal with Condrey just as he planned to with Durbin, and then, a little after midnight on the 13th, said that no, he did not.
Which is indicative that the man is capable of saying one thing and doing another, such as :
“I don’t think there is any likeliness (of a big trade happening) … there is nothing likely. How about that?”
…and then allowing the headlines to fill with fiery speculation while twiddling his thumbs and whistling distractingly.
On a different topic, I’d like to send a particularly fervent “God damn it!” to Chan Ho Park. What about all the good times, Chan Ho? The innings of solid relief while “Whoops, sorry everybody,” became Brad Lidge’s mantra? The “clap, clap, clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap-clap, Chan Ho!” cheers we so creatively came up with during Game Five of the World Series?
And now, if you don’t get your way, you’re going to go pitch for another team that’s not as good, but offered you a longer contract and probably an ambiguous promise to be a starter? Somebody’s got “How to Negotiate a Baseball Deal” by Aaron Rowand on his night stand.