Amaro: Phillies Still Best Team in Baseball

Ruben Amaro Jr.
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Ruben Amaro, Jr. is making a pretty big mistake right now.

Don't worry, he hasn't offered Jimmy Rollins a 10-year ironclad contract and he isn't offering to trade Cliff Lee for Adam Eaton. The Phillies general manager's mistake is choosing to do something else with his idle hours instead of watching the World Series.

In a radio interview Monday (brought to our attention by the fine fellows at the 700 Level), Amaro said that he hasn't watched much of the immensely entertaining World Series between the Cardinals and Rangers. The interview was taped before Monday night's thriller, so maybe someone talked him into saving his "Two and a Half Men" marathon for another night, but as of Monday afternoon Amaro had a pretty succinct explanation for why he wasn't watching the game he's made his life's work.

"Because I still think we're the best team in baseball."

There's little more tiresome in sports than players, coaches or executives from teams that lose who still cling to the flag of being the better team. It's the last refuge of a loser and hollow solace when you're watching another team celebrate on your field. And it usually isn't even true.

That's not the case with Amaro. The Phillies probably are the best team in baseball. They finished with the best record over the 162 games of the regular season and would have been miles ahead of any competition if not for a brief swoon in September when they had already wrapped up a playoff spot.

The worst you could say about them is that they were the best team in the National League, so it is hard to kill Amaro for that assessment.

Losing three of five to a good Cardinals team doesn't erase all that happened in the previous 162 games. It doesn't even come close, especially when the final margin of the final game is one slim run. We can and we have debated why the Phillies came up short, but, in the end, the answer is the very unsatisfying "because that's what happens in baseball."

Having said all that, Amaro should probably start thinking about things that actually matter. Being the best team over a 162-game season is all well and good, but you win championships in the playoffs and the Phillies couldn't do that. Their loss to the Cardinals might not have made St. Louis the better team, but it did make them more likely to win a World Series.

In the end, that's what matters and that's what should be driving Amaro to get even better before the start of next season.

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