Of Course Ruben Amaro Jr. Thinks the Phillies Can Turn Their Offense Around

Of Course Ruben Amaro Jr. Thinks the Phillies Can Turn Their Offense Around

The Phillies were held to one run or less for the ninth time in 45 games this season in their 5-1 loss to the Marlins on Monday, which accounts for 20% of their outings so far. Only three clubs in Major League Baseball have managed to produce fewer runs. There are a lot of folks who are ready to give up on this team, and many more who already have.

Not surprisingly, Ruben Amaro Jr. is not one of them. While the Phils general manager admits to being concerned over what he’s seen at the plate up to this point in an interview with the Inquirer’s Bob Brookover on Tuesday, RAJ cited the numbers his players have posted throughout their careers as reason to believe a turnaround is still possible for this offense.

Can this offense turn things around?

Amaro: “I think it can. I don’t have a crystal ball that says it will and it hasn’t shown the consistency that would make you think it will. But there are reasons they have those numbers on the back of their baseball cards. I think when it’s all said and done, we will have more productive numbers than we do right now as a group. But it is concerning that we haven’t had more consistency at this stage of the season.”

At what point do you have to do some things to try to change the offense?

Amaro: “It’s not like we haven’t looked into ways to improve our club. Because of the nature of what’s happening across the league, you don’t see a whole lot of movement. I don’t think a lot of teams feel like they know what they have yet, so you’re not seeing anything more than waiver-wire claims.”

It’s not surprising observers were jumping all over the Phillies after yet another loss in Miami, dropping the Fightins’ record to 4-4 against the lowly Marlins this season, and it was yet another hapless performance at the dish that was at the heart of the loss. That was also with Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard missing from the lineup though, the latter returning tonight – not that Howard is having a great year, either, but they’re better off with him right now than not given the circumstances.

They can still salvage two of three against the Fish though, which they better. As we mentioned yesterday, a couple of absences are no excuse against this rotten opponent.

Much more is entailed in Brookover’s interview with Amaro, who answered questions about the impact from the growing number of injuries, slow starts by Ben Revere and Delmon Young, concerns over the pitching staff, and whether or not the Phillies will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.

>> Amaro believes offense will turn things around [Inq]

Drexel falls to James Madison in potential CAA Tournament preview

Drexel falls to James Madison in potential CAA Tournament preview

BOX SCORE

Jackson Kent and Tom Vodanovich combined to score 31 points and James Madison held off Drexel late to secure a 70-64 victory Thursday night.

The game could be a preview of a first-round match-up in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. With one game left in the regular season, James Madison (9-21, 7-10) is the No. 7 seed and Drexel (9-21, 3-14) has locked up the No. 10 seed. Those seeds meet in the first round, with the winner facing the No. 2 seed in the second round.

Sammy Mojica hit a 3-pointer with :32 left to get the Dragons within four, 66-62, but Shakir Brown and Joey McLean each hit a pair of free throws to seal the victory.

Kent hit 6 of 11 from the floor and tallied 16 points with eight rebounds to lead the Dukes. Vodanovich added 15 points.

Kurk Lee and Mojica both scored 18 points off the Dragons' bench.

Conspiracy charge added for 3 former Penn State administrators

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Conspiracy charge added for 3 former Penn State administrators

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania judge on Thursday allowed prosecutors to add a conspiracy charge against three former Penn State administrators, increasing their possible penalty if convicted of crimes for their handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

Judge John Boccabella granted a request by the attorney general's office to tack on a related conspiracy count to the charges of endangering the welfare of children.

Prosecutors said each felony count carries up to 7 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Jury selection is scheduled for March 20 in Harrisburg in the case of former university president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley.

The defendants sought permission last week from Boccabella for an appeal that could delay the trial. The judge has not ruled on that request.

They argue Boccabella erred when he declined to dismiss the child-welfare charges, arguing the statute of limitations expired, the defendants did not provide direct care for children and they are charged with actions that occurred before the law was revised.

Earlier this month, the judge dismissed charges of failing to properly report suspected abuse, and last year the Superior Court threw out perjury, obstruction and conspiracy charges.

The three administrators fielded a complaint in 2001 from a graduate assistant who said he saw Sandusky, then retired as an assistant football coach, sexually abusing a boy in a team shower.

They did not report the matter to police or child welfare authorities, but did tell Sandusky he could no longer bring children to the campus and they notified his charity for children, The Second Mile.

Sandusky currently is serving a lengthy state prison term after being convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys.

Last week, a new judge appointed to preside over his appeals under the state's Post-Conviction Relief Act scheduled a March 24 hearing at the courthouse near State College to "present and finalize the evidentiary portion" of the hearing.