Video: Ruben Amaro Jr. Thinks Carlos Ruiz Probably Tested Positive Towards End of Season

Video: Ruben Amaro Jr. Thinks Carlos Ruiz Probably Tested Positive Towards End of Season

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Ruben Amaro Jr. recently (likely over the weekend before the John Lannan news broke) sat down with Tom McCarthy to answer questions submitted by Philadelphia Phillies season ticket holders. The two touch on a wide array of topics, from what he thinks of Ben Revere in center field, to what the GM's parents were like, to what he felt about Carlos Ruiz being suspended for 25 games to start the 2013 season for using the banned stimulant Adderall.

Ruben on Carlos Ruiz:

"I think what it comes down to is competition. Guys get to the point where they feel like they might need an extra boost to take them to the next level. I believe -- I don't know this for sure, because I don't know a lot of the background of the testing process and we don't know many specifics about it -- it's something that happened at the end of the year. I know that Chooch, when we were making a run late in the season, I know he wanted to come back and play. Listen, he just made a bad choice. It's something he shouldn't have done. He knows it. He realizes it. He was very remorseful about it. It's going to hurt us and it hurts me to have to deal with it. It hurts our club, but I know he feels terribly about it. I hope it's a learning experience not just for him but for our players and the players behind him. It's not like they're not educated. They know exactly what's wrong and what's right."

Websites Ruben Looks At: StatsPass, BaseballAmerica, MLB.com

Ruben Amaro Jr.'s Favorite Sports Teams: The Flyers, the Eagles, the Sixers, the Union. Shocking and diplomatic, I know. He added he really enjoys watching hockey the most and has a great relationship with Paul Holmgren. He respects what the Union have done with the Sons of Ben, etc.

He's going to spend his Christmas in the Poconos doing a little snow-tubing. He should totally invite Pedro Martinez and Charlie Manuel with him.


La Salle pummeled by VCU, 90-52, snapping 5-game streak

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USA Today Images

La Salle pummeled by VCU, 90-52, snapping 5-game streak

RICHMOND, Va. -- Justin Tillman had 16 points and nine rebounds to lead five VCU players in double figures in a 90-52 victory over La Salle on Sunday.

VCU held La Salle to 15 made field goals and forced 16 turnovers.

VCU went on a 19-0 first-half run -- with 11 points from JeQuan Lewis -- for a 38-14 lead and the Rams led 42-16 at halftime after shooting 51.5 percent. Lewis made 5 of 6 shots and had 13 of his 15 points in the first half.

Samir Doughty added 15 points for VCU (15-5, 5-2 Atlantic 10). Ahmed Hamdy-Mohamed had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Jordan Burgess scored 10. Tillman was 7 of 10 from the field as the Rams shot 56.5 percent.

Jordan Price and Saul Phiri each scored 11 points for La Salle (11-6, 5-2) and Pookie Powell added 10. It was a season-high for the freshman Phiri but the Explorers were just 15-of-53 shooting (28.3 percent).

The Sixers without Joel Embiid: Still just the Sixers

The Sixers without Joel Embiid: Still just the Sixers

Well, if anyone hoped the Sixers' performance at game's end against Portland on Friday night -- with Joel Embiid riding the bench, ruled out for the game's remainder with a left knee contusion -- would carry over to an entirely Embiid-less game again Saturdaynight... I guess you're not alone, 'coz I sorta did. Perhaps it shouldn't have been particularly surprising to see that the Sixers were still the same team last night in Atlanta they were the previous Saturday against the Wizards: good enough to hang against an above-average East team, but not nearly good enough to actually win. 

At least they kept this one closer longer. Normally, against the Hawks, once the single-digit lead in the first half balloons into the double-digit lead in the third quarter, it never deflates back, but this time we cut it down to seven a couple times -- just never hitting that one big shot that would've really made things interesting, ultimately losing 110-93. It doesn't help that Nik Stauskas is in the midst of one of his most refrigerated runs as a Sixer, going just 7-30 (3-16 from deep) over Philly's last five games, or that Dario Saric is similarly bricking shots near and wide, a remarkable 2 for 22 over his last couple contests. 

This, sadly, is a primary reason why the Sixers' playoff hopes, while fun to dream about, are still unlikely to be more than a flicker. Over the next few weeks, the Sixers have a trio of back-to-backs coming up, with the back-end games coming against Milwaukee, Sacramento and San Antonio -- none of which Philly, 2-12 without their star center, are probable to win sans JoJo. Even if they can take care of business with Embiid on the court, it'll be tough to make up the ground that the Sons of Sam need to while they have to drop one every three or four games as Joel sits. 

That's fine, though. This season's been super-fun, but we shouldn't get too far ahead of ourselves: Let's ensure Embiid's health, maybe get Ben Simmons out there too, secure a nice draft pick or two (though the plummeting Kings could be of significant help with that themselves), and focus on making next year even more of a thing. The future remains impossibly bright, even if the present is going to have to be borderline-unwatchable once or twice a week.