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Placido Polanco: Ruben Amaro Chose Wisely in the Winter of 2009

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 10: Third baseman Placido Polanco #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies watches his grand slam home run during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park on June 10, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 7-5. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images
Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIJune 13, 2011

When Indiana Jones was finally able to reach the Grail room in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, he had to choose the correct cup. The Grail Knight protecting the cup said, “Choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you.”

Of course, Jones “chose wisely,” according to the knight, and Walter Donovan didn’t have the same luck.

“He chose poorly,” the knight famously said.

In the winter of 2009, Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro was faced with a similar decision. No, he wasn’t facing a life-or-death situation, though sometimes having rapid and passionate Phillie fans angry with you might be 10 times worse.

Amaro was faced with the decision of who was going to be the Phillies' third baseman for the next couple of years. The decision came down to free agents Mark DeRosa and Placido Polanco.

Between the two, DeRosa seemed to be the more logical choice at the time.

DeRosa is a northeast guy. He was born in New Jersey. He went to Bergen Catholic High School. And he went to college in Pennsylvania at the University of Pennsylvania.

DeRosa was also coming off a season where he hit 23 HRs and he could also play first, left field of right field if need be. He seemed like the perfect fit in Philadelphia.

Amaro didn’t see it that way. He decided that Polanco, a former Philly from 2002-2005, was a better fit, and man, was he right.

“He chose wisely.”

While DeRosa has played in only 44 games in a San Francisco Giants uniform because of a wrist injury and other ailments, Polanco has been rock solid in a Philly uniform.

Here a comparison of the two players since the beginning of the 2010 season:

Polanco has outproduced DeRosa in every way. He’s been an excellent signing for the Phillies and has been worth about three wins a season for them.

Amaro has done a great job in making the Phillies a powerhouse now and setting them up for success in the future. Making the right decisions like the one he made in the winter of 2009 have only helped with that process.

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