Ruben Amaro dismisses fans who “bitch and complain” about the Phillies’ moves

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Over at CSNPhilly.com Jim Salisbury talks to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro about the Phillies’ potential trades this summer and about the development of some of the team’s prospects.

When asked about the timetable for pitching prospects Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin to make it to the bigs, Amaro said the plan was to be conservative. When it was pointed out that fans of losing teams tend not to like it when told that they need to be patient, Amaro had this to say:

“They don’t understand the game. They don’t understand the process. There’s a process. And then they bitch and complain because we don’t have a plan. There’s a plan in place and we’re sticking with the plan. We can’t do what’s best for the fan. We have to do what’s best for the organization so the fan can reap the benefit of it later on. That’s the truth.”

Want to talk truth? Here are two truths:

1. Ruben Amaro is not wrong about how fans behave. And he’s not wrong about how most fans don’t really have an understanding of what front offices do and why. And he’s not wrong to be conservative with pitching prospects given where the Phillies are now (i.e. not close to winning).

2. Ruben Amaro has done nothing in the past several years which entitles him to offer these kinds of truths in as undiplomatic and as snotty a fashion as he does here.

Results matter more than decorum. And when you win, you get to say all kinds of off-the-cuff things like this and you get lauded for your “candor” or “brashness.” But when your results suck, reporters, talk radio and the like are gonna jump all over you. Is it fair? Eh, probably not. But it’s a fact. And managers and executives have lost their jobs for these kinds of outbursts or for talking down to a frustrated fan base in the past. Again, maybe not fair, but organizations pay attention to this kind of thing.

Amaro was — or at least should be — on thin ice to begin with. Why he decided to talk down to fans like this, then, is something of a mystery.

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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