It wasn't a secret that Pat Gillick was going to step down as Phillies general manager after this season which meant the team had plenty of time to figure out his successor. The only problem was they had two top-notch candidates in house as replacements. Assistant general managers Ruben Amaro and Mike Arbuckle both played a big role in building the world champions but one was going to be left holding the bag.
It wound up being Arbuckle. Amaro will be named the team's new GM at a press conference today. Amaro played for the Phillies and served as Gillick's public face on many occassions the last couple of years. He was widely seen as the former GM's protege. Arbuckle handled scouting and player development and, upon learning he wouldn't get the top job, informed the team that he'd be leaving for other opportunities.
It's a big loss. The Phillies lean heavily on players that Arbuckle brought into the organization. Six of the nine players who started Game 5, in fact, were drafted under Arbuckle and the guy who closed the game was acquired in exchange for three players Arbuckle selected. That's a big loss as will be the other guys Arbuckle poaches when he lands another job.
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Amaro inherits a good team coming off a great season, most general managers would kill for that situation. It will be hard to keep the team at the upper echelon, however, unless he replaces Arbuckle with a commensurate baseball mind. That's on top of the coming decision about Pat Burrell's future with the team and all of the other decisions about the big league club. It's a pretty clear reminder of how fast the page turns. Even when you're on top of the world, you've got to keep an eye on tomorrow.
Ruben Amaro is the New GM of the Phillies, Already Has Big Hole to Fill originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Mon, 03 Nov 2008 10:55:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.