Rubén Amaro Jr. (born February 12, 1965) is an American former professional baseball player and General Manager that currently serves as the first base coach of the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball, his first coaching job. He played in Major League Baseball as an outfielder from 1991 to 1998. Amaro was named the General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies on November 3, 2008, succeeding Pat Gillick and remained in that position until September 10, 2015. He is the son of former Major League Baseball player Rubén Amaro Sr.

Early life

Born and raised in the Rhawnhurst neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia, Amaro played Little League Baseball for Crispin Gardens. Amaro is Jewish; his mother Judy Amaro-Perez (née Herman)[1] is of Russian-Jewish heritage and his father is a Marrano Sephardic Mexican-Cuban.[2][3] He later was a batboy for the Phillies from 1980 to 1983 when his father, Rubén Amaro Sr., was their first base coach.[4]

Amaro graduated from William Penn Charter School in 1983, where he played baseball and soccer. He graduated from Stanford University in 1987.[4] He was a member of the Stanford team that won the NCAA 1987 College World Series. He led the team in runs (77), triples (6), and stolen bases (38) that year.

Baseball career

Minor leagues

Drafted by the California Angels in the 11th round of the 1987 amateur draft, he signed June 16, 1987.[5]

In 1989 he began the season by batting .360 for Quad Cities of the Midwest League, and then ended it by hitting .382 for the Midland of the Texas League. In 1990 he batted .317 between AA and AAA. He followed that by batting .326 in 1991 in AAA. In 3,117 at bats in the minor leagues, he batted .301 with a .399 on-base percentage and 235 stolen bases.[6]

Major leagues

He debuted in the major leagues on June 8, 1991. On December 8, 1991, he was traded by the Angels with Kyle Abbott to the Philadelphia Phillies for Von Hayes.

In 1992 he finished third in the NL with 9 hit-by-pitches. On November 2, 1993, he was traded by the Phillies to the Cleveland Indians for Heathcliff Slocumb.

Amaro made the Cleveland Indians World Series roster in 1995 over Dave Winfield. On November 9, 1995, he was released by the Indians.

On January 24, 1996, he was signed as a free agent by the Toronto Blue Jays. On May 5, 1996, he was released by the Blue Jays, and the following day he signed as a free agent with the Phillies. He batted .313 for the Phillies that year with a .380 on-base percentage.

In eight seasons in the major leagues, Amaro appeared in 485 games, batting .235 with 16 home runs and 100 RBIs. He played for both the 1993 NL champion Phillies and the 1995 AL champion Indians.[4]

Front office

Amaro joined the Phillies front office immediately after his playing career ended in 1998, hired by then Phillies general manager Ed Wade. He served as assistant GM for the Phillies for 10 seasons before being named general manager. His first seven were under Wade, followed by three seasons under Gillick.[7]

On November 1, 2008, the day after the Philadelphia Phillies second Broad Street Parade, it was confirmed that Amaro would be the new general manager as well as senior vice president of the Philadelphia Phillies.[8] Amaro signed a three-year contract.[4] The Phillies won the National League East the first three years of his tenure, appearing in the 2009 World Series and finishing with the best record in baseball during the 2010 and 2011 regular seasons. They have failed to reach the postseason since.

Shortly after Amaro fired manager Charlie Manuel in 2013, Manuel was asked if he had enough pieces to win in 2012 and 2013 and he responded "The last two years? No. I can straight face tell you that." [9] In July 2014, a "Stay Or Go" poll was conducted by Philly.com with over 10,000 fans involved, and 93.6% of voters wanted Amaro to be removed from his position, with only 6.4% wanting Amaro to remain GM.[10]

His performance with the Phillies was unlike his predecessor;[11] in May 2014, Sporting News ranked Amaro the worst general manager in Major League Baseball, noting his propensity to sign aging veterans who fail to perform at a level commensurate with their contract.[12] He was removed from his position with the Phillies on September 10, 2015.[13]

Coaching career

Amaro was hired as first base coach by the Boston Red Sox for the 2016 season, returning to the field for the first time since retiring as a player.[14][15]

Honors and awards

In 2008, Amaro was one of three people inducted into the All-American Amateur Baseball Association Hall of Fame.[16]

In 2009, Amaro was inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.[3][17]

That same year, baseball fans nationwide voted him the MLB "This Year in Baseball Awards" 2009 Executive of the Year.[18]

Also in 2009, the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association (PSWA) named him its Executive of the Year.

Philanthropy

Amaro is co-founder of the Richie Ashburn Harry Kalas Foundation, which provides baseball camps for underprivileged children in the Delaware Valley. He also serves on the local YMCA board in Philadelphia.[4]

References

  1. ^ Charry, Rob. "Heritage Florida Jewish News". SmallTownPapers Inc. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Phillies GM Receives ‘Homegrown Hero’ Award". CBS. January 16, 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Passman, Aaron (May 21, 2009). "Ruben Amaro Jewish? Yes, According to Jewish Hall of Fame". The Jewish Exponent. Jewish Publishing Group. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Ruben Amaro Jr. named Phillies general manager". MLB.com. November 3, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Ruben Amaro Jr. Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Ruben Amaro Batting Statistics". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved May 17, 2010. 
  7. ^ [1] Champion Phillies plan to name Ruben Amaro Jr. general manager (November 3, 2008) nj.com
  8. ^ [2] Phillies Select Amaro as new GM (November 1, 2008) philly.com
  9. ^ "Charlie Manuel says Phillies roster wasn't good enough". NJ.com. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Phillies at the trade deadline: Who stays? Who goes? – Philly". philly.com. July 16, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  11. ^ Jones, David (June 6, 2014). "Billy Beane and Ruben Amaro prove money can't buy judgment". PennLive.com (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The Patriot News). Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  12. ^ Spector, Jesse (May 27, 2014). "MLB general manager rankings: Billy Beane tops Sporting News' list". MLB – Sporting News. SportingNews.com. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Philadelphia Phillies dismiss GM Ruben Amaro Jr.". ESPN.com. September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Ruben Amaro Jr. to become Red Sox first base coach". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Former Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. named Boston Red Sox first-base coach". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  16. ^ Hall of Fame. All-American Amateur Baseball Association official website. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  17. ^ "Inductions: Ruben Amaro Jr. – Class of 2009 – Baseball, Baseball Management". Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  18. ^ Go to 2009 This Year in Baseball Awards and click on "Exec" for results and video. MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved September 5, 2011.

Further reading

External links

Preceded by
Arnie Beyeler
Boston Red Sox first-base coach
2016
Succeeded by
Incumbent