Ruben Amaro appears to not understand difference between at-bats and plate appearances

Ruben Amaro JrRuben Amaro has been running things in the Phillies organization for nearly six years, and little things like this might explain why the team has struggled lately under his watch.

Amaro joined Tom McCarthy and Jamie Moyer in the broadcast booth Thursday and was talking about how Jimmy Rollins is nearing Mike Schmidt’s franchise record for hits. Rollins is now at 2,233 career hits, while Schmidt had 2,234 hits (all with the Phillies).

In a truly embarrassing moment, Amaro was totally at a loss to explain how Rollins and Schmidt could have nearly the same amount of hits and at-bats (and therefore batting average), while Schmidt has nearly 800 more plate appearances.

Here’s what Amaro said via Crossing Broad:

“Yeah, we were checking it out. In fact Schmitty was in the booth yesterday when we were talking about it, and, um, I think it’s about a thousand difference in, ah, plate appearances. Pretty amazing. But their batting averages aren’t that different, which is kind of… weird. I don’t quite understand it.”

Oh jeeze, Ruben. You don’t understand it? Schmidt walked almost 800 times more than Rollins. Which would also explain his higher on-base percentage, in case you’re unfamiliar with that metric. The other less frequent occurrences that would explain the difference in plate appearances include sacrifices, hit-by-pitches and catcher’s interference calls.

Since I know there’s no way you’d believe an actual Major League Baseball GM wouldn’t understand the difference between at-bats and plate appearances, we’ve included the audio below as proof, as shared by Crossing Broad:

I want to give Rube the benefit of the doubt here, but there really is no explanation. How could an ownership group allow a guy with this lack of statistical knowledge to continue making all the important decisions about the franchise? That is really, really bad.

H/T LBS tipster David

Ruben Amaro Jr. cries after firing Charlie Manuel (Video)

Ruben-Amaro-Jr-cryingWhen word first surfaced that Charlie Manuel was out as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, many people expected the 69-year-old to announce he had resigned. That clearly was not the case. Like most other teams who have fallen well short of expectations would have done, the Phillies fired their manager.

On Friday afternoon, Philadelphia GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and Manuel met with the media to address the move. Amaro Jr. was very emotional before turning the floor over to his former manager.

“You people may not know the relationship I’ve had with Charlie,” he said while fighting back tears. “He’s a special person. This is difficult for me. I hope he stays in our organization.”

Manuel had been with the Phillies for more than eight seasons. He led the team to its first World Series title in 28 years when they won it in 2008. We have no way of knowing if Amaro Jr.’s emotional display was genuine, but I’m sure he would have rather been able to keep Manuel around if the team was doing well.

As Jonathan Papelbon indicated in a not-so-graceful manner a few weeks ago, the Phillies are in need of major changes. Firing the third-longest tenured manager in Major League Baseball certainly qualifies as a major change.

H/T The 700 Level