The Full Treatment

A Blog on Philly Sports

Not even Charlie Manuel has taken as much blame for the Phillies' mediocre start as general manager Ruben Amaro. The media, fans, and most of my friends insist that Amaro has done a poor job keeping this team on top of baseball. I think the critics are too hard. Amaro is probably the only person who didn't want to trade Domonic Brown over the last three years. He traded 14 farmhands to get Roy Halladay, Hunter Pence, and Roy Oswal and others. None have come back to bite the team. But he did not budge on Brown. If he had, it may have been as regretful as trading Hall of Famers like Ferguson Jenkins and Ryne Sandberg, the two biggest blunders in team history. Ed Wade was right to not trade Ryan Howard or Chase Utley. And Amaro was right not to let go of Brown. Right now, the Phillies 25-year old leftfielder is playing as well as anybody in the game, save the Tigers; Miguel Cabrera and the Orioles' Chris Davis. Now, Amaro couldn't tell you that Brown was going to turn into Babe Ruth overnight. But he did think he was still someone who would be a fixture in this line-up for years to come. And he was right.
Amaro's biggest mistakes in my eyes was trading Cliff Lee (though he got him back) and Hunter Pence after he traded for them in the first place. Pence should be the Phillies' rightfielder right now. What was so wrong with him anyway? I also would have liked to seen him spend the money on Michael Bourn in centerfield. Ben Revere has made some nice catches but his bat and on base percentage are so weak that he has really hurt the team. I also disagreed with the signing of Michael Young. I thought the Phils already have a younger version of Young in Kevin Frandsen, who hit for a high average in limited duty last season. Young's power days are done, though he sets a good example by leading the team in walks. I don't dislike Young, I just thought that the Phils should have got a better reliever than Chad Durbin and spent the money in this area. They let Durbin go in 2009 for a reason, right?
Overall, though, Amaro did what he had to do. He overpaid for Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins, and now he and Phillies' nation have to deal with three aging superstars. It's not Amaro's fault that these guys, including Halladay and Carlos Ruiz have injury issues that have slowed them down. He has been the most aggressive GM the team has had. He went after high price free agents and stars at the trading deadlines in consecutive years. The team won a lot of games but haven't come close to the World Series in 2009. Amaro's next decisions will be his biggest. Do you fire Charlie Manuel? Do you trade Jimmy Rollins? Do you trade Carlos Ruiz, or re-sign him? Do you go after a high priced outfielder who is better than Revere, Delmon Young, and John Mayberry? It's not an easy job. And there are no easy answers. The team hasn't played that well for close to a year and a half now but with Brown, Freddy Galvis, Erik Kratz, Cesar Hernandez, Cody Asche, Adam Morgan, Jesse Biddle, Jonathan Pettibone and mainstays Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick, and Jonathan Paplebon, there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the near future and the far future
Chip Kelly's first decision as the new Eagles' coach is the one that baffles me. Why does he want Michael Vick? System or no system, Vick was terrible last season and wasn't so hot the year before. His injury history and age are concerns as well. I really believe that Vick won't be the starter for too long. If he starts out 1-3 or worse, Nick Foles, or Matt Barkley will be the starter. I think Kelly has a great chance to have a formidable running game with LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown both capable of huge numbers. Everything about Kelly is exciting. I can't wait to see the high-powered fast moving offense, and hopefully a much improved offensive line and defensive front seven. I have no expectations for the secondary or the playoffs. But I am baffled why Vick is on the roster.
It has to be killing the Flyers to see Justin Williams, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Pat Sharp, and Michael Handzus skating for the LA Kings or the Chicago Black Hawks in the Western Conference Semifinals. Even though there was justification behind every trade or release, these guys are missed. Here's hoping a very young Flyers' team will improve next year and make the playoffs. I don't recall ever being so disinterested in the Stanley Cup Playoffs as I have been this season.
The 76ers have taken their time to hire a new coach. I hope that they give Brian Shaw the job. Kobe Bryant wanted him to have the job in Los Angeles a few years ago. He has waited his time and he is one of the few people who understand the intricate offensive sets run by Phil Jackson. He reportedly has a great rapport and respect from players, coaches, and media alike. He also played like Evan Turner and may be the gay to transform him into a star. The 76ers are a desperate team. Hopefully, they will not pursue Andrew Bynum again and get a young center with the 11th pick in the NBA draft. They need a big guy badly. Where are you Nik Vucovic?


The Full Treatment
Jeremy Treatman - Contributor

Jeremy Treatman is the founder and co-director of the Scholastic Play-by-Play Classics and Sports Broadcasting Camps. Over 50 NBA players, including Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Rajon Rondo played in his events when they were in high school. Jeremy wrote high school sports for the INQUIRER for 10 years, and was the first TV reporter for the HIgh School Sports Show on Channel 29 from 1994-2001. He currently is Comcast's announcer for all high school games.


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