Rubén Amaro Jr.

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Rubén Amaro Jr.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Rubén Amaro Jr. is the brother of David Amaro, son of Rubén Amaro, Sr. and grandson of Santos Amaro. While his grandfather was born in Cuba and played in Mexico and his dad was born in Mexico and played in the USA, Amaro Jr. actually spent his career in his country of birth, the USA. Junior played parts of eight seasons in the big leagues, with his claim to fame as a player coming when he was carried on the Cleveland Indians World Series roster in 1995 over future Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.

Immediately after his retirement in 1998, Amaro joined the Philadelphia Phillies front office as assistant GM under Ed Wade, holding this post through to the Phillies victory in the 2008 World Series. After that season he replaced the retiring Pat Gillick, who had taken the post from Wade three years prior. The Phillies continued to play well for a few seasons, once again reaching the World Series in 2009 (a loss to the New York Yankees) and putting together another couple of winning seasons after that, without advancing far in the postseason. They fell to .500 in 2012 and in 2013. Amaro fired manager Charlie Manuel on August 16th, 2013 when the team fell 14 games below .500. Manuel's replacement was Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, and while the team played somewhat better under his orders, they did not return to playing winning baseball the rest of that season or in 2014.

Before the 2015 season, Amaro traded long-time shortstop Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers and failed to find a taker for the remaining years on first baseman Ryan Howard's contract. There was speculation that the team's top two pitchers, starter Cole Hamels and reliever Jonathan Papelbon, would soon be gone as well, with Papelbon making public statements hinting that he wanted out. The Phillies once again started slowly, with little hope for the team's fans that they would see a competitive team in the near future. Amid criticism, Amaro told the press in late May that Phillies fans "don't understand the game" and the "process" that goes into constructing a team. Those comments caused a firestorm in Philadelphia, and Amaro was forced to apologize. The criticism from the fans was not that the Phillies were losing, but that they were going through the necessary rebuilding halfheartedly, by not seeking to trade the few remaining players from the championship years while they still had some value left, and by not aggressively promoting prospects who could be part of the next competitive Phillies team, making the current losing pointless. Amaro replied that there was in fact a rebuilding plan that was being implemented, and that rushing a few young players to the majors early would not make it more likely to succeed. His position became even more shaky when the Phils hired Andy MacPhail to be the team's new President in June. Amaro did go into dealing mode starting in late July, as Papelbon, Hamels, outfielder Ben Revere and veteran second baseman Chase Utley were all sent away within a brief period. On September 10th, the Phillies announced Amaro would not be returning to the team the next season and that he was being replaced in the interim by assistant GM Scott Proefrock. In late October, Matt Klentak was selected as his permanent replacement.

Amaro returned to the field as first base coach of the Boston Red Sox in 2016. The unprecedented move - from GM to first base coach - was seen as a step to eventually securing a job as a major league manager. He was let go alongside manager John Farrell after the 2017 season, then in 2018 moved to the New York Mets, also as first base coach. After the season, he was promoted to assistant to newly-hired GM Brodie Van Wagenen.

Amaro is a recurring character on ABC's family sitcom The Goldbergs, where he is portrayed by Niko Guardado, the son of former big league reliever Eddie Guardado. Amaro has made a handful of appearances himself on the series, portraying his father.

Preceded by
Pat Gillick
Philadelphia Phillies General Manager
Succeeded by
Scott Proefrock

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bob Nightengale: "Ruben Amaro Jr. loses power, gains sanity as Red Sox coach", USA Today Sports, March 3, 2016. [1]

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