Ruben Amaro wants to be a manager.
No, I didn't forget to put the word "general" in front of the word "manager" in the sentence above this one. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Phils' recently dismissed general manager is now trying to sell himself as a managerial candidate for one of the open jobs out there.
Ruben Amaro Jr. a manager? Bob Lamonte, the premier agent for NFL coaches and executives, has taken on a new baseball assignment — remaking the former Phillies GM. Lamonte, who has remade the careers of NFL coaches such as John Fox, Andy Reid, and Jack Del Rio, and transformed Jon Gruden from NFL coach to ESPN star, is now working with the 50-year-old Amaro and trying to sell him as a GM or manager. Amaro, who spent most of his eight seasons with the Phillies as their GM, would like to manage, and with the Marlins breaking that barrier with Dan Jennings stepping down from the front office to the dugout this season, Amaro, a Stanford graduate, appears serious about the challenge. Amaro, a former utility player for four major league teams, could appeal to a team such as Miami, which may be looking for a connection with Latin players. Lamonte is close to Tony La Russa, Walt Jocketty, and Pat Gillick, who all have endorsed Amaro pursuing a managing job.
Is this crazy? Are we on crazy pills now? The idea of Ruben Amaro as a manager sounds laughable, but here's why it's not the craziest idea to every float out there.
Currently, there are four teams that have an open managerial position. The Marlins, Padres and Nationals have vacancies in the National League, and the Mariners are looking for a new skipper in the American League.
Amaro spent eight years as a Major League player with the Phils, of course, but also with the Angels and Indians. So he knows how the dugout and how clubhouse is supposed to function (I would assume).
He's also fluent in Spanish as a man of Latino descent, something that could come in quite handy in Miami and the influx of Latin American players on the Marlins. It's hard to see him going someplace like Seattle, after having spent virtually his entire career in the NL.
It's unlikely a team like the Nationals would be interested either, considering the mistake they made hiring the untested Matt Williams. Amaro has no previous managerial experience at any level, and bringing aboard another green field manager is probably not the direction they're going to go.
So that leaves the Marlins and Padres as possibilities. It would take quite a selling job for Amaro to be hired as a manager, but not unprecedented.
It's also an open question just how astute Amaro is at tackling important in-game decisions. Is he someone who would think two, three, four innings ahead? Would he know how to take a team through a long, 162-game season? Is he a good communicator? Would he wreck a bullpen and know when to pull a pitcher or pinch hit for for someone?
Frankly, I have a hard time seeing it. But kudos to Ruben for trying to stay in the mix. And if he's really serious about becoming a manager, he can always try to secure a position for a Double-A or Triple-A team to get his chops.
Ruben Amaro, Renaissance Man.