According to a story from Jim Salisbury last week, Amaro has a bit of an obsession with Stanton. The Marlins’ slugger could be the right-handed bat the Phillies have needed since Jayson Werth bolted after the 2010 season. And if we know anything about Amaro and his obsessions, he usually doesn’t file them away quietly.
Remember, Amaro was consumed with getting Roy Halladay during the 2009 season and when he couldn’t get him at the deadline, he got Cliff Lee. Of course he traded away Lee when he got Halladay in December of 2009, but then developed another stalkerish-type obsession with Lee and signed him to a fivear, $120 million deal the next winter.
Could Stanton be Amaro’s next fatal attraction?
Given that the Phillies lost their 81st game of the season on Wednesday night to equal the franchises’ most defeats since losing 97 in 2000, let’s guess that Amaro will be hell bent on going after a slugger like Stanton. In fact, on Monday when assessing the team’s needs for the offseason, manager Ryne Sandberg listed pitching, but they always say pitching.
"I would say solidify the starting rotation. I think that could be No. 1," Sandberg said. "I think some of the question marks in the bullpen could have been answered, so that might narrow that down.
"We need to figure out the catching situation.
"Better defense in the outfield.
"Continue to try to improve the lineup as far as the offense goes.
"And getting everybody back … healthy."
The price tag for Stanton would start with Maikel Franco and build from there.
OK. Plop Stanton in the middle of the lineup between Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and see what the kid does. Chances are it will be a little different than hitting between Christian Yelich and Justin Ruggiano.
Anyway, the Phillies have to run the table to avoid their first losing record since going 80-81 in 2002. That was the year the Phillies went into the last game of the season in Miami with an 80-80 record. Manager Larry Bowa really wanted to get that 81st win, but trouble arose when the game went into extra innings.
Because it was the last game of the season, a bunch of players had planes to catch to go home. One player with an early flight and a contract about to expire was Travis Lee and when Luis Castillo led off with the 10th with a single, fate was on Lee’s side to catch that plane.
With no outs, Castillo stole second base and moved to third base on a wild pitch from Hector Mercado. With one out and Castillo still on third, Juan Encarnacion hit a foul ball near the stands behind first base. If Lee were to let the ball drop, it would be strike two. No big deal. But if Lee caught it, the speedy Castillo could tag up and score easily.
So what did Lee do while backpedaling toward the stands?
Of course he caught it.
Lee caught it, Castillo tagged up and scored easily and the Phillies season ended with an 80-81 record. And by the time we made it from the press box to the clubhouse, Lee was showered, dressed and pulling his suitcase toward the exit to catch a cab to get to the airport in time.