Phillies GM Ruben Amaro on Phillies Loss to Cardinals: “We just didn’t hit” and He Was Angry When Howard Swung at 3-0 Pitch
The Philadelphia Phillies were put together this season with one goal in mind. It wasn’t to have the best record in the regular season, it wasn’t to win the National League East, or just get into the playoffs either. It was to win the World Series. After making a huge trade at the deadline to acquire Hunter Pence it looked like the Phils had everything they needed to hoist up the trophy at the end of the season. Unfortunately all that money they spent on players and all that star power they went into the playoffs with just didn’t show up at the most important time of the season and they got knocked out of the playoffs early by the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cards deserve a lot of credit for the way they played in the five-game series, but after such a tremendous regular season, there is no other way to define the Phillies season than by saying 2011 was a huge disappointment. Now Ruben Amaro heads into this offseason with a number of decisions to make on a roster that underachieved the minute the lights shined the brightest. Ruben Amaro joined 97.5 the Fanatic with Mike Missanelli to talk about whether or not changes are on the horizon with the Phillies, What went wrong in the series against the St. Louis Cardinals, if the players the Phillies have are capable of hitting more consistently, whether or not Jimmy Rollins will be back with the Phillies, if he was shocked by the outcome against St. Louis, and how he felt about Ryan Howard swinging at a 3-0 pitch to end the game.
If there are changes on the horizon with the club:
“It’s possible. I don’t know if we need to make major changes but there might be some things that we move around but change is not the worst thing in the world. We had a pretty good club this year, probably one of the better clubs in baseball but we just didn’t get it done when we had to get it done.”
On what went wrong against the Cardinals:
“We just didn’t hit. We didn’t swing the bats and we faced, with all due respect to the team that we played, we faced a club that was playing good baseball and we weren’t nearly as hot. If you look back at the games we lost obviously the Cliff Lee start was a tough one for us to lose. Cliff was not all that sharp and that hurt us. Not adding on offensively in that game and sitting on our laurels that didn’t help us, but clearly we didn’t swing the bats the way we wanted to and we didn’t get the big base hits. We came pretty close with a couple of long fly balls but they didn’t reach the fence or go over them so we weren’t fortunate enough to move on.”
Whether or not the players are capable of hitting more consistently:
“I think they’re capable of it. I think it’s a matter of them putting their minds to it and buying into doing something different. I think they have the ability to do that. It’s just a matter of them buying into it and making some mental adjustments on what the approach is. We’ve gotta stop striking out. We’ve gotta make tougher outs, we’ve gotta make good outs and we need to do a better job of that. I think they are capable of doing it, it’s just a matter of getting it done. The onus is going to be on the players to make that adjustment.”
If he would like to have Jimmy Rollins back next season:
“I gotta keep my mind open and my ears open as far as what we want to do. We’ve talked a little bit obviously or a lotta bit internally about his situation and we’ll see what fits. We haven’t made any final decisions one way or another. I think Jimmy knows that we want to have Jimmy come back and be a Philly. I think he wants to be a Philly and sometimes what each side wants is not what each side gets. You can still get to an agreement. We will work at it and see how it goes. Those negotiations as is our policy will be things that are done in private. Hopefully we can get to the finish line so Jimmy can put the uniform on in 2012 and beyond and we can move forward.”
Whether or not he was shocked by the loss against St. Louis:
“I don’t think shocked. I think disappointed is probably a better word. I’m not all that shocked because I’m a realist. When you get into short series’ and you get into the playoffs you just never know what can happen and a lot of it depends on the human beings, a lot of it depends on whether guys are hot and whether they’re seeing the ball well, whether the ball rolls right for you. I would put our team, our 2011 team up against the 2008 team anytime but we didn’t win the World Series unfortunately. We didn’t create the kind of luck that we had in 2008. I wish we had, but we didn’t. We will have to try again next year.”
How he felt when Ryan Howard swung at a 3-0 pitch to end game five against the Cardinals:
“I was angry. (Host You were angry he swung at 3-0?) I was angry that he didn’t hit it out. If you’re gonna take a swing at it then hit it out, but we pay him to drive the ball out of the ballpark and produce runs in that situation and would’ve liked for him to be on base.”