Listen, we don't need the keycode to the executive bathroom, but a hall pass wouldn't hurt.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday afternoon before the Phils' series finale against the Angels in Anaheim, Amaro was asked about the future of the organization. As noted by MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, he was asked specifically about whether any changes might be coming in the way the Phils handle issues like player development, amateur scouting, the use of analytics, etc.
The answer was probably not what you wanted to hear.
"We have organizational meetings every year," Amaro said. "We'll have them again this year. We'll continue to do that. That's not really for anybody's business, whether they want to know about it or not."
Is there potential for change?
"That's not for anybody's business," Amaro said. "Listen, that's my job as a GM. Continue to assess what we can do better. And how we can improve. These are good challenges for us and good times for us to do that."
No one is expecting Amaro to betray company secrets, and certainly he's entitled to keep his cards close to the vest. But if you listen to the comments that follow, it's fair to wonder if there really is a coherent long-term plan at all for how to conduct business over the next few years (areas in bold were done by me).
"Right now, we're trying to win as many games as possible," Amaro said. "At the same time, at some point, we're going to have to start looking to the future. And once we're 'eliminated' … listen, is it a long shot to get back into this Wild Card race? It is. Numerically it's not impossible, but right now obviously I'd be foolish to say it's something that's probable.
"And at some point, we may be looking more at what we have to do for 2015 as far as what's going on, on the field. But until then, we'll make the decision when it's the appropriate time, when it's time to start to looking to 2015 and beyond. We're not quite there yet."
I'll wait until you're done smacking your head against the hard object in front of you.
Mr. Amaro, the Phillies are ELEVEN games out of the 2nd wild card. Their magic number for elimination is 31. Only the Cubs, Diamondbacks and Rockies are in worse shape. As Zolecki noted in his piece...
The Cardinals are on pace to win the second NL Wild Card spot with 86 wins. The Phillies (53-68) would need to finish 33-8 (.805) to win 86 games.
YOU DO NOT HAVE A PRAYER SO JUST STOP IT.
We are now at that "some point." In fact, the team should have been focused not only on 2015, but more on 2016 and 2017, weeks ago.
Seriously, Mr. Amaro, you're not there yet? What in all that's good and holy are you waiting for?
As Philly.com's David Murphy so beautifully put it yesterday, the Phils front office, and the general manager in particular, are adrift, lost in a desire to squeeze every last win out of a team that is going nowhere this season. What's the difference between 74 wins and 72? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
But have no fear! At SOME POINT, the Phillies WILL start looking toward next year.
"At some point, we'll get together to discuss when and if we get to the point to start looking to 2015, 2016 and beyond that. We'll get on the page and start talking about what it is that needs to be done as far as playing time and other stuff."
"Everybody is entitled to their opinion," Amaro said. "A lot of people don't really know much about the inner workings of our organization unless they're working with us. They're entitled to have those opinions. We believe in the people that work with us. We know that we have to improve in certain areas, and we'll continue to try to do that. We have some questions to answer. It's a broader question than I'm able to answer completely, but we have a lot of questions that have to be worked on."
There really is not much left to say here. Ruben Amaro and manager Ryne Sandberg are still conducting this season as if they have a chance to make the playoffs, and do not plan on thinking about next year or the year after that until they are officially eliminated from playoff consideration.
So forget about a five-year plan or even a three-year plan. They're barely thinking about next year.