Phils GM Ruben Amaro: Fans critical of approach don't understand the game

Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro says that fans who don't understand the team's methodical approach to turning the franchise around "don't understand the game."

Amaro made the comments in an interview with CSNPhilly.com on Monday and said the team's plan to rebuild will remain "conservative," specifically in regard to potential trade talks and promoting prospects from the minors.

When reminded that Philadelphia's passionate fan base might be impatient with that approach, Amaro responded:

"They don't understand the game. They don't understand the process. There's a process. And then they bitch and complain because we don't have a plan. There's a plan in place and we're sticking with the plan. We can't do what's best for the fan. We have to do what's best for the organization so the fan can reap the benefit of it later on. That's the truth."

Amaro, whose contract is up at the end of the season, went on Philadelphia radio station 94WIP on Tuesday morning to clarify his comments. He claimed he "didn't say they don't understand. Some fans don't understand -- it's not all Philadelphia fans."

Amaro said he has spoken to team president Pat Gillick about this comments and said later Tuesday that he's sorry for his remarks.

"I probably used my words incorrectly or poorly," Amaro said. "I want to apologize for that."

"We have the most passionate fans, and I think that's the beauty of Philadelphia," Amaro said. "I would never intentionally disparage our fans -- that's not how I go about my business, that's not what I feel is in the best interest of the organization. We're fan-driven. This is an entertainment business, and we need the support of our fans, and we've gotten tremendous support. I apologize for the context or the words that I used."

Amaro's initial remarks to CSNPhilly.com about the "conservative" approach were made in response to a question about 21-year-old pitching prospects Zach Eflin and Aaron Nola, who are both thriving at Double-A Reading this season.

"I'm pleased with the progress we've made in our organization on a number of levels," Amaro said during Monday's interview.

Amaro also acknowledged Monday that he has had trade talks with multiple teams, although a deal is not "imminent."

"I've had dialogue on a variety of things over the last several weeks and that will continue," Amaro told CSNPhilly.com. "There's been dialogue on all these guys (Jonathan Papelbon, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels). But nothing is imminent.

"These guys having success is good for us on all fronts, whether they stick with us and continue to be part of what we're trying to do moving forward or whether we utilize those assets to improve our club. Them doing well can only help our club."

The Phillies (19-28) have lost four of their past five games and are in fourth place in the NL East, nine games behind the Washington Nationals.

Philadelphia went to consecutive World Series in 2008 and 2009, winning in '08, but has missed the postseason each of the past three years. The best season during that stretch was an 81-81 campaign in 2012.