Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2000 Phillies Team Issue #7 Terry Francona

The Ed Wade era in Houston ended over the weekend as the former Phillies GM was sent packing for the second time in his career.  With the new ownership in place, and due to a crappy overall performance over the past several seasons, it was time for the Astros to move in an Ed Wade-less direction.  Wade had been the team's general manager since September 2007.

My Dad and I always felt Wade got a bum rap in Philly.*  Hall of Famer Pat Gillick was at the helm when the Phillies finally cracked the postseason in 2007, but it was Wade who helped construct the core of that team and the 2008 World Champions.  Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Ryan Madson, Cole Hamels, Carlos Ruiz, Brett Myers and Pat Burrell were all drafted and developed during Wade's regime.  He hired Charlie Manuel to manage the team, and that's worked out pretty well too.

During his four-season run as the Astros GM, Wade was often criticized (chastised? mocked?) for populating his team with ex-Phillies.  He pulled off three blockbuster deals with his former team and his former mentee, Ruben Amaro, Jr.:

1.  November 8, 2007 - Traded Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett to the Phillies for Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary and Mike Costanzo.

2.  July 29, 2010 - Traded Roy Oswalt to the Phillies for J.A. Happ, Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar.

3.  July 29, 2011 - Traded Hunter Pence to the Phillies for Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid and Domingo Santana.

Only time will tell if any of those prospects will pan out for the Astros.

I could be wrong, but I think the card featured here is the only instance of Ed Wade appearing on cardboard.  That's his head creeping out from behind Terry Francona.  Of course, both men are now unemployed, giving them plenty of time to get together and reminisce about the glory days of the 1997 to 2000 Phillies.  Or not.

*Don't get me wrong here.  His firing by the Phillies after the 2005 season was a necessity if the team was going to move forward.  I just think he deserves some credit for assembling the core of what has become a powerhouse team in the National League.


Dan said...

Wade was not a good GM, he was good at drafting and Mike Arbuckle was a great scouting director...he was good at putting big pieces together...

he constantly overspent on middle relievers with multi-year deals (i'm sure you remember which ones: Cormier, Adams, Mesa, Hernandez, etc) and traded potentially valuable parts for more middle relievers...(Polanco for Urbina, the ill-fated trades for Cook and Wendell)

he wasn't good or lucky at the scrap heap pickup ala Jayson Werth and was not good at trading stars at that time....the Scott Rolen return was kind of laughable even at the time...a reliever whose contract ran out at the end of the year, an injured prospect, and Polanco

ok, i didn't like him as a GM

Jim said...

Totally agree with your "he was good at drafting" point. I seem to recall one of the first people Gillick thanked when he hoisted the 2008 trophy was Wade.

It was just a dark time all around.