While the Mets bullpen (well, Joe Smith, anyway) is back to their old tricks tonight in Miami, the Astros have named former Phillies GM Ed Wade as Tim Purpura’s replacement. Glass-is-half-full advocate Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle hails the move.
First the good news. Virtually the entire nucleus of the Phillies’ current team was signed and developed during his tenure as general manager (1998-2005). Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Pat Burrell, Brett Myers, Marlon Byrd and Taylor Bucchholz were all drafted when Wade was in charge. Jimmy Rollins came up in a farm system Wade organized. He took over an organization that was a mess and made it almost as productive as any. He hired Ruben Amaro and promoted Mike Arbuckle.
He hired two managers–Larry Bowa and Charlie Manuel. Bowa’s tenure was interesting if nothing else. Manuel might be the NL Manager of the Year.
Now the bad. He traded Scott Rolen and Curt Schilling and didn’t get nearly enough for them. He handed out some horrendous contracts to Mike Lieberthal and David Bell and dumb no-trade clauses in deals for Bobby Abreu and Jim Thome. He got into unnecessary feuds with the Philly media.
That said, this is a good hire. Ed Wade is competent. It’s not a daring hire or a leap of faith. Wade will paint the town beige. But that’s okay. This organization needs someone that, first of all, will get them back on track at the minor league level.
Wade knows the lay of the land. Tal Smith hired him to be public relations-director of the Astros in the ’70s. He resigned after Smith was fired and went to work for Tal after a stint with the Pirates. He eventually joined the Phillies and methodically climbed the masthead, until being named general manager in 1998.
He became a punching bad for the Philly talk-show nitwits. Some of the criticism was legitimate, but most of it was typical talk-show gas. If anyone tells you Ed Wade is incompetent, don’t believe them.
8 thoughts on “Ed Wade Lands On His Feet”
This is great news for aging middle-relief pitchers seeking employment in 2008.
Ed Wade was/is/will be a lackey. All this signifies is that Drayton McLane and Tal Smith will be calling the shots.
Tom Gordon is gonna look swell at Minute Maid next year (he said hopefully).
“…and the competent general managing of Ed Wade.” Yeah, it sounds pretty good.
i wonder if these means the stros will have more than 2 brown dudes on their team at once.
also, after reading richard justice this season it’s clear that he’s not a respectable journalist and instead the typified homer douche that tries to paint everything uncle drayton does as a step in the right direction. hate the guy.
“Bowa’s tenure was interesting” – yeah, I’d say having a large part in running your franchise’s 2nd best third basemen EVER (behind only one of the best of all time) out of town qualifies as “interesting.”
I eagerly await Matt Perisho’s unretirement ceremony @ the Juice Box (to the tune of $12M/3yrs).
(and, yes, I’m talking about David Bell in my 1st set of parens)
I give Dick J. a bit of credit — the casual of employment of “Uncle” Drayton is a neat conceit designed to give the reader the sense that much of the Chronicle’s baseball coverage is not in fact, subject to the approval of Astros ownership.