Thursday, September 16, 2004

It Tolls for Thee, Ed Wade
I was recently alerted to two websites expressly dedicated to the great work of dislodging Phillies General Manager Ed Wade--a/k/a Dead Weight--from the spot in which he's so signally failed my favorite baseball team: and WadeMustGo. The first site has the classic graphic intro page, but is a little weak on the analysis; the second, developed by John Skilton of fame, has a better rundown of this man's reign of error (not to mention LOB, HR allowed, and veteran relievers fetishized).

Still, there's a gap--and I plan to fill it, as soon as this big project at work gets finished. Wade's track record is bad, but it's hardly an unmixed list of disastrously bad moves. He got Robert Person for Paul Spoljaric back in 1999, and... well, okay. I can't think of many other really good moves, aside from ones in which he took on major salary. But to be fair, even some of the bad moves--like the Andy Ashby trade during the 1999-2000 offseason--made sense at the time.

Like most GMs, Wade can "win" a deal on talent when he adds salary in the trade: even with his various injuries, the Phils were helped this season by the BIlly Wagner deal more than Houston was. (Of course, the Astros ditched salary to add Clemens, and I'm sure they're banking on pitching prospects Taylor Buchholz and Zeke Astacio to justify the move in future years.) You could probably say the same about the Eric Milton for Nick Punto/Carlos Silva trade, except that the Twins probably don't have as high hopes for the three guys they got in that deal.

But the bottom line is this: If you're going to slam Wade, you have to take aim at a philosophy that's yielded repeated failures, but which he's evidently unwilling to re-examine: overvaluing veteran relievers, putting way too much stock in "character guys" from Rex Hudler to Doug Glanville, disdaining the acquisition of prospects as throw-ins, totally failing to know when to pull the trigger, inability to manage the 40-man and the Rule V...

As I said, the day of reckoning is coming. Look for it here!

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