Ruben Amaro: Papelbon “doesn’t know anything about the front office”

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On Monday Jonathan Papelbon made headlines when he told the press that the Phillies need to “s*** or get off the pot” with respect to trading him, which he he really wants to have happen. He added that the new Phillies front office, with Andy MacPhail serving as team president-in-waiting while Ruben Amaro is the GM and Pat Gillick serves out the year as actual president is gumming up the works.

Yesterday Phillies GM Ruben Amaro responded. From CSNPhilly.com:

“As Pap is a very good pitcher, he doesn’t know anything about the front office. It’s as simple as that. I’m the GM and Pat is my boss. As in all these deals, particularly ones that are as complicated and have so much money involved, these are all discussions that we’ve had . . . Right now, Andy is part of the decision-making process, but only in so much that he’s an observer and someone who’s going to give us his opinion. Really, Pat is the one who ultimately will make the ultimate decisions.”

I guess that last part should make Phillies fans feel better. And leads one to ask what, actually, Amaro is still doing there, but let’s leave that for another day.

Any response Jonathan?

“That’s just my opinion,” he said. “Everyone is entitled to it.”

Interesting way to put that.

Papelbon also added that he wasn’t thrilled about not pitching in the All-Star Game last night. Not that he was all that engaged in it. When a reporter told him that fellow Mississippian Brian Dozier hit a homer that almost landed in the bullpen in which Papelbon was sitting, he said he didn’t notice:

“I didn’t watch it,” he said. “I was out there, but I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention.”

What were you doing in the ‘pen?

“Snoozing,” Pap said.

You get some good winks?

“Yeah,” he said. “Until (Aroldis) Chapman made me get up out of my chair because he had to pitch on the mound I was sitting on.”

Should be a fun second half with Paps in Philly.

Astros clinch AL West for third consecutive year

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For the third consecutive season, the Astros are AL West champions. The ‘stros clinched the division on Sunday afternoon with a convincing 13-5 win over the Angels. They were backed by three homers from leadoff man George Springer and individual homers from Alex Bregman and Aledmys Díaz.

Springer has the 22nd three-homer game in baseball this season. He’s the first Astro to hit three homers in a game since Yordan Álvarez last month, on August 10.

Justin Verlander lasted five innings in Sunday’s start, yielding two runs on six hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander is arguably the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award, now 20-6 with a 2.53 ERA and a 288/42 K/BB ratio in 217 innings on the year. Verlander is 12 strikeouts shy of the 300-strikeout milestone and six strikeouts short of 3,000 for his career. If the Astros stay on schedule, Verlander would pitch the second-to-last game of the regular season against the Angels.

Sunday’s win marked No. 102 on the season for the Astros. The franchise record is 103 wins set last year. With six games remaining, it seems likely the Astros will set a new record.

The Astros and Yankees both won on Sunday, meaning the Astros remain a half-game ahead in the race for home field advantage. The No. 1 seed will also have the privilege of playing the Wild Card winner, which is down to the Athletics, Rays, and Indians.