Lying is an unfortunate part of baseball, like waiting in line for the bathroom, or reaching the bathroom and realizing what condition it’s in. I have a disturbingly vivid memory of standing behind a sweaty middle-aged guy as he explained to his young daughter that she was too young to go to the bathroom by herself and as they inched closer to the entryway and the smell became, um, apparent, and she looked like she was tied to a conveyor belt headed for a meat grinder.
Then we all heard the crack of a bat and the crowd went nuts and we all cursed our own biological needs for taking us away from what was obviously the greatest thing that ever happened.
Unlike the bathroom, Ruben Amaro has turned lying into an unfortunate action with fortunate results. He lied when he said he wasn’t in on Cliff Lee, and we celebrated. He lied when he said Chase Utley was fine last spring, and we wagged our fingers. But here he is, arranging us like human pawns, and once again, he undoubtedly has us right where he wants us.
Ruben Amaro had a 30-minute meeting with Phillies beat writers the other day, solely to explain that his latest lie wasn’t a lie at all.
Look, by now, we are fully aware that Ruben’s mouth is a constantly shifting rubicon, unable to maintain a single, consistent form, and usually threading the groundwork for further illusions somewhere down the road.
“I’m not trying to deceive anybody. Why would I lie to the public? How is that going to make the organization’s relationship with the public better? What benefit would I have to tell you Chase is fine when I know that he’s not?”"
–Ruben Amaro, eyes shifting back and forth quickly
Well we won’t know that until much later, Ruben. That’s how all of this works, remember? You tell a lie that’s part of a much bigger lie, and we’re forced to choke it down until we realize what horrendous or malicious or wonderful thing you’ve created by weaving a thick tapestry of lies.
What sinister plan exists that involves Ruben being straight forward? What plot is forming behind the curtain that we are to miss by focusing more on the fact that our GM is trying to gain our trust? How are we being deceived by our own trust?!?!
The real question is what toll this is taking on his psyche. Is he able to look his own children in the eye anymore? Or does he just spew falsehoods constantly? Can he remember a time when he communicated through some sort of medium beyond ‘dishonesty?’
But we cannot take it personally. No, we must stomach the lies; after all, Ruben keeps supplying the wins and there is no reason not to trust him. I mean, trust that his lies will wind up taking the shape of victory. That’s the fun part; finding out retrospectively to what end he was lying for. When he let’s us.
Besides, what do you want to hear?
“Hello, yes. This will be quick. The entire team is another year older. Chase’s body is beginning to reject the spastic, athletic movements he was once capable of. He could return halfway through the season, or his career could be over. He seems pissed, everyday, as if something has been taken from him and even giving everything he’s got won’t get it back. Ryan Howard’s tendon is infected, so we’ll be relying on Hunter Pence to be the offense in case Jimmy and Shane don’t pop out. Thank you, no questions.”
–Ruben Amaro, in a parallel universe