Ed Wade: Nice Guy Whose Team is Finishing Last

Ed Wade has been the Phillies general manager for the past eight seasons, and he has done a memorable job whether you love him or hate him. No matter whether you're with him or against him, you have to admire his forthrightness and his accessibility to the media as well as a willingness to answer all the questions the media poses to him.

Having had the opportunity to meet and talk with Wade for the first time earlier this week, I gained a new respect for him, his class, and the way he goes about his business. That said, I have not found justification for most of the moves he has made as general manager and this is a reaction to all of his less than stellar moves over his eight years as GM.

Wade has traded away most of the decent talent the Phillies had in their farm system and now it is all either at least four years away from being big league ready or a lot of dead wood. Take the minor league system's .334 winning percentage as proof of that. Wade has traded away prospects like Carlos Silva, Nick Punto, and Johnny Estrada and has nothing to show for it today. Kevin Millwood, who Estrada was traded for, has left town and even when he was here didn't do much to help the team win. Sure, he had one good day in April against the Giants but when did he ever put the team on his back in July and August and lead the charge toward October? He was one of only a few Phillies who had been there before (when he was with the Braves), but didn't help his new Philly teammates taste October. Estrada, in case some of you forgot, is an everyday player and All-Star for our division rival Braves.

Milton put together an amazing season for the Phillies last year, was by far the ace of the staff, and narrowly missed an All-Star appearance, but was left to walk away through free agency after almost no interest by Wade and the front office. He is now pitching in Cincinnatti after the Phillies traded away Carlos Silva and Nick Punto to rent Milton for one season. Silva, who was an electric young arm as both a starter and a reliever for the Phils, has now blossomed into a very nice starter and even possibly an All-Star for Minnesota. Not to mention the fact that Silva could have helped ease the pitching crisis to start the season with Padilla on the DL and some of the growing pains in the bullpen. Silva also could have been able to supplant Tim Worrell in the setup role before it got as bad as it has in the Phillies bullpen.

Punto could have helped ease the pain of all the injury strife that has graced the Phillies over the last two seasons. His versatility allowed him to be able to help out wherever the Phillies needed him when he was here and that would have been very helpful this time around. Given the team's situation with injuries to Kenny Lofton, Pat Burrell, David Bell, and Jim Thome, Punto could have helped the team deal with the myriad of injuries that have befallen them without having to decide where to put Placido Polanco on any given night.

The sad part about all of this is that these are only two examples of the many instances in which Wade has proven himself unworthy of a Major League general manager position. Some of his signings are equally atrocious. How about his decision before the start of this season to re-acquire Terry Adams to help sure up this year's bullpen? Or the decision to acquire Felix Rodriquez and Todd Jones at last year's trading deadline? As I recall all three of these players had less than spectacular tours of duty in Philadelphia and their futility must be laid at the feet of the General Manager who acquired them. How about his signings of Manny Barrios? Mark Brownson? Cesar King? Bobby Sismondo?

My point exactly.

Ed Wade has had many more than his share of gaffes and busts during his eight year tenure and he must be made to answer for the team‘s sub par efforts during his time as GM. The majority of players he has signed have not helped the Phillies in a significant way and most of his trades have been grossly unbalanced against the Phillies. Unfortunately for Wade, while he is one of the nicest guys in the game, his job performance just doesn't merit his being retained as the team's general manager.

Questions and comments on this article can be addressed to Todd Tranausky at ThunderPhil20@aol.com.

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