Rubén Amaro Jr.

Rubén Amaro Jr. (born February 12, 1965) is an American former professional baseball outfielder and General Manager (GM). Amaro played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1991 to 1998. He was named the GM of the Philadelphia Phillies on November 3, 2008,[1] succeeding Pat Gillick and remained in that position until September 10, 2015.[2] Amaro is currently a color commentator for the Philadelphia Phillies. He was previously the first base coach for the Boston Red Sox (2016–2017) and New York Mets (2018). He is the son of former MLB infielder and coach, Rubén Amaro Sr.

Rubén Amaro Jr.
Amaro Jr. in 2022
Born: (1965-02-12) February 12, 1965
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Batted: Switch
Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 8, 1991, for the California Angels
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 1998, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
Batting average.235
Home runs16
Runs batted in100
As player
As general manager
As coach

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)[3] is of Russian-Jewish heritage and his father was a Catholic Mexican-Cuban.[4][5] He was the Phillies’ batboy from 1980 to 1983 when his father, Rubén Amaro Sr., was their first base coach.[1]

Amaro graduated from William Penn Charter School in 1983, where he played baseball and soccer. He graduated from Stanford University in 1987.[1] In 1985 and 1986, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League and was named an all-star both seasons.[6][7][8] 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 playing career

Minor leagues

Amaro in 1988 with the Palm Springs Angels

Drafted by the California Angels in the 11th round of the 1987 amateur draft, he signed June 16, 1987.[9]

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.[10]

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.[1]

Post-playing career

Front office positions

Amaro joined the Phillies front office immediately after his playing career ended in 1998, hired by then-GM Ed Wade. He served as Assistant GM for the Phillies for 10 seasons, before being named GM. His first seven seasons were under Wade, followed by three under Gillick.[11]

On November 1, 2008, the day after the Phillies’ second-ever Broad Street Parade, it was confirmed that Amaro was given a three-year contract to be the new Phillies GM, as well as Senior Vice President.[12][1]

Amaro in April 2010

The Phillies won the National League East divisional title each of the first three years of Amaro's tenure, appearing in the 2009 World Series and finishing with the best record in baseball during the 2010 and 2011 regular seasons (the latter, with 102 wins, their best record in franchise history). In 2009, with the Phillies pitchers struggling despite being the defending World Series title holders, he traded for Cliff Lee and signed free agent Pedro Martinez, who contributed to the Phillies' return run to the World Series.[13][14] In 2010, Amaro traded for Roy Halladay but also dealt away Lee. In late July, when the Phillies were 3+12 games behind the Atlanta Braves, he pulled off yet another crafty trade, acquiring Roy Oswalt and "triggering a late-season blitz to baseball's best record." Prior to the 2011 season, Amaro managed to convince Lee – then a free agent courting interest from the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees – to re-sign with the Phillies, joining a pitching rotation consisting of Halladay, Oswalt, Cole Hamels, and Joe Blanton. Commentators called it one of the best rotations ever assembled.[15][16][17][18] Halladay, Oswalt, Lee, and Hamels were dubbed the 'Phantastic Phour' by fans and the media.[17][19][20] However, Amaro was criticized for giving a US$125 million 5-year contract extension to an already-ailing Ryan Howard in 2010, which was regarded as highly unnecessary, because Howard was already signed through to the end of the 2011 season – by which time he would be 32 years old, which is "about the age at which teams start to worry about decline in big-bodied first-base/DH types."[21][22]

Further, the latter part of Amaro's tenure as GM was comparatively unsuccessful, as Philadelphia failed to reach the postseason in 2012 and subsequent seasons. Howard's performance ended up far worse than skeptics expected, and by 2014 Amaro was "trying hard to deal Howard away, expressing a willingness to eat a lot of the money.”[23] Shortly after Amaro fired manager Charlie Manuel, in 2013, Manuel admitted that he had known that the Phillies roster lacked enough "pieces to win" in 2012 and 2013.[24] In July 2014, a "Stay Or Go" poll was conducted by 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.[25]

Amaro's performance with the Phillies was unlike that of his predecessor;[26] in May 2014, Sporting News ranked Amaro the worst general manager in MLB, noting his propensity to signing aging veterans who fail to perform at a level commensurate with their contracts.[27] With the writing clearly on the wall for some time, Amaro was let go by the Phillies on September 10, 2015.[2]

Following the 2018 season, the Mets promoted Amaro from the coaching ranks into a front-office advisory role, under new GM Brodie Van Wagenen.[28]

Coaching career

Amaro with the Mets in 2018

Amaro was hired as first base coach by the Red Sox for the 2016 season, returning to the field for the first time since retiring as a player.[29][30] Following the 2017 season, he was named the Mets’ first base coach under new manager Mickey Callaway.[31] He was then a special assistant to general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.[32]

Media analyst

In 2020, he was hired as a pre-game and post-game television analyst for NBC Sports Philadelphia, covering the Phillies. He also does color commentary for some games.[32]

Honors and awards

In 2008, Amaro was one of three people inducted into the All-American Amateur Baseball Association Hall of Fame.[33]

In 2009, Amaro was inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.[5][34]

That same year, baseball fans nationwide voted him the MLB "This Year in Baseball Awards" 2009 Executive of the Year.[35]

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


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.[1]

A teenage Amaro (portrayed by Niko Guardado, son of Major League baseball player, Eddie Guardado) is a recurring minor character in the ABC series The Goldbergs, which is set in the 1980s. Amaro attended the same school as television and film producer Adam F. Goldberg, on whose adolescence the show is based. Amaro portrayed his own father in Season 5, Episode 11 and reprised the role in Season 6, Episode 6.

See also


  1. "Phillies to name Amaro general manager; Arbuckle leaving front office". November 2, 2008. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  2. "Philadelphia Phillies dismiss GM Ruben Amaro Jr". September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  3. Charry, Rob. "Heritage Florida Jewish News". SmallTownPapers Inc. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  4. "Phillies GM Receives 'Homegrown Hero' Award". CBS. January 16, 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  5. Passman, Aaron (May 21, 2009). "Ruben Amaro Jewish? Yes, According to Jewish Hall of Fame". The Jewish Exponent. Jewish Publishing Group. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  6. "Cape League Wrapup". Barnstable Patriot. Barnstable, MA. July 11, 1985. p. 9.
  7. "All-Stars". Cape Cod Times. Hyannis, MA. July 20, 1986. p. 52.
  8. "Orleans wins over Cotuit". Barnstable Patriot. Barnstable, MA. August 14, 1986. p. 11.
  9. "Ruben Amaro Jr. Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  10. "Ruben Amaro Batting Statistics". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  11. Champion Phillies plan to name Ruben Amaro Jr. general manager (November 3, 2008)
  12. Phillies Select Amaro as new GM (November 1, 2008)
  13. "Welcome | Philadelphia Magazine". January 7, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  14. Chesterton, Eric (February 23, 2016). "Former Phillies News: Cliff Lee to Retire". The Good Phight. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  15. Divish, Ryan (March 28, 2011). "Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, Roy Halladay, Joe Blanton, Cliff Lee". The News Tribune. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  16. Corcoran, Cliff (September 21, 2011). "Phillies' much-hyped rotation even better than expected". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  17. "Phillies' "Phantastic Phour" rotation arrives". WTSP. February 14, 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  18. Stark, Jayson (December 14, 2010). "Measuring Phillies' rotation historically". ESPN. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  19. Epstein, David (April 3, 2011). "Pitchers have captured Philadelphia's attention | Vault". Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  20. Greene, Dan (July 17, 2011). "Chooch goes from blessing to curse for the Phillies | Vault". Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  21. "10 Degrees: The worst contract in MLB history is finally ending soon - Yahoo Sports Canada". Archived from the original on May 31, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  22. Cork Gaines (July 29, 2014). "Ryan Howard's Historic $125 Million Contract Has Turned Into A Nightmare For The Phillies". Business Insider. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  23. Chris Bahr @ChrisBahr_FOX Jul 25, 2014 at 9:41a ET (July 25, 2014). "Ryan Howard's contract as big a problem as his bat for Phillies". FOX Sports. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  24. "Charlie Manuel says Phillies roster wasn't good enough". August 21, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  25. "Phillies at the trade deadline: Who stays? Who goes? – Philly". July 16, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  26. Jones, David (June 6, 2014). "Billy Beane and Ruben Amaro prove money can't buy judgment". Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The Patriot News. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  27. Spector, Jesse (May 27, 2014). "MLB general manager rankings: Billy Beane tops Sporting News' list". MLB – Sporting News. Archived from the original on May 25, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  28. "Jim Riggleman hired as Mets bench coach under Callaway". ESPN. November 26, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  29. "Ruben Amaro Jr. to become Red Sox first base coach". Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  30. "Former Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. named Boston Red Sox first-base coach". October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  31. Ackert, Kristie (November 3, 2017). "Former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. joins Mets as first base coach". NY Daily News. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  32. "Ruben Amaro Jr. Gearing up for return to Phillies family". July 12, 2020.
  33. Hall of Fame. All-American Amateur Baseball Association official website. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  34. "Inductions: Ruben Amaro Jr. – Class of 2009 – Baseball, Baseball Management". Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  35. 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

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