Sports

The Phillies Have Fired GM Ruben Amaro Jr. After Historically Disappointing Season

Ruben Amaro Jr.
Ruben Amaro Jr. at spring training in 2012, a year after the Phillies won 102 games. Steve Nesius/Reuters

With less than a month remaining in the season, the Phillies have the worst record in baseball. As a result, they have fired general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. These things happen when you’re responsible for a team that has, as of Thursday, scored 183 fewer runs than they’ve allowed—the worst differential in the league.

The Phillies have been in steady decline since Amaro took the job in 2009, a year after the franchise won its first World Series since 1980. That championship team and the subsequent playoff teams of 2009 through 2011 were propelled by high-priced veterans, but as the talents (and health) of stars like Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard began to wane, Amaro was never able to replenish the coffer. This year, the franchise has truly paid the price for its inability to develop homegrown talent. Despite encouraging performances from prospects like Maikel Franco and Aaron Nola, the Phillies appear destined for their first 100-loss season since 1961. In other words, they’ve been historically bad.

"It's never an easy decision to make a change," said Andy McPhail, who is set to take over as team president at the end of 2015, in a statement. "Ruben has had a direct impact on some of the best years in the team's history. He helped to create some great memories for Phillies fans with his accomplishments, but in order to return to a top-contending club, we believe this is the right thing to do as we continue the rebuilding process."

Before his promotion in 2009, Amaro served as the Phillies' assistant general manager for 10 years. Scott Proefrock, who served as assistant general manager under Amaro, will take over for his former boss until the team can find a replacement. It should be a long offseason for Phillies fans, but there is one silver lining to the team’s abysmal performance: It should have the first overall pick in next June’s amateur draft.