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Monday, October 10, 2005

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Comments

Hooray!! Finally a step in the right direction!

Let's see who comes in, I hope somebody new (Gerry Hunsicker), they better not just elevate Ruben Amaro.

as I said in the previous day's story.....

DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALL MIGHTY WE ARE FREE AT LAST FROM ED WADE'S INCOMPETENCE!!!!!!


HOPEFULLY THE OWNERSHIP GROUP BRINGS IN SOMEONE FROM THE OUTSIDE AND DOESN'T SHACKLE THIS ONE!!!!

Jason, Do you have any gut feeling on who will replace Ed or maybe who you would like to see replace Ed? I guess there is a lot of talk of Hunsicker and Cashman? I figured you baseball gurus may have a better idea of what is out there in relation to what the Phillies may need.

Change is good.

No clue, and judging from the press conference, Montgomery doesn't have a clue who it will be, either.

its almost reassuring to hear monty say that he doesn't know who the replacement is yet. or it will almost be until the moment we find out who it is, i guess you would say.

Longest playoff droughts are Tampa Bay and Phillies? What about the Blue Jays (93), Pirates (92), Tigers (87), Royals (85), Brewers (82), or Expos/Nationals (81)?

For the record, Hunsicker has Philly ties -- he's a St. Joe's grad.

Just to be fair, the Phillies and Devil Dogs don't have the longest playoff droughts in baseball. In actuality, after Chuck LaMar was fired last week, Wade became the longest serving GM w/o going to the postseason, but here are the teams with the current longest playoff droughts, with the year they last made it (props to wikipedia):

Washington Nationals, 1981
Milwaukee Brewers, 1982
Kansas City Royals, 1985
Detroit Tigers, 1987
Pittsburgh Pirates, 1992
Philadelphia Phillies, 1993
Toronto Blue Jays, 1993
Cincinnati Reds, 1995
Colorado Rockies, 1995
Baltimore Orioles, 1997
Tampa Bay Devil Rays, never

So, actually 11 teams, including the Phillies, did not make the playoffs under Wade's tenure.


That said...this is a good move. I mean, Wade seems like a nice guy and I would probably still be valuable in another role within the organization. Like you said, he wasn't particularly adept at in-season trades (his best trades were offseason deals). But I honestly think the biggest downfall was a general disconnect between him and the fans. In the last five years, GMs have come more the forefront and become more accessible to fan bases. Look in our own division--Omar Minaya, John Schuerholz, and Jim Bowden--or even throughout baseball. Epstein, Cashman, Beane, etc. Those guys are stars themselves now and are faces of their organizations. Wade never had the charisma to really be that for the Phillies. And the fans have lost complete faith in him. I'm not a huge Wade fan, but I'm also not 100% convinced that he was an awful GM. But I think today's move had to be done and I think the most important thing to take away from today is not that there will be a new GM, but that the owners actually fired the old one.

Who will replace him? That's an important question. My vote is for Hunsicker, a Philadelphia product, who helped construct the impressive Houston organization and a perennial contender despite having a cheap owner. Remember, this man is available not because he was fired, but because he chose to leave. He'd still be the GM of the Astros today if he wanted to be. I'm anxious to see what he could do with a team that had a higher payroll.

Even more important than the decision of the new GM, is whether the Phillies will reinvest in their farm system. Hopefully the certain to be low rating by BA and other outlets will prompt increased spending for domestic and foreign talent. That's why the Braves excel...they spend a lot on their farm system.

The next few weeks should be interesting in Phillies land.

PS Jason, I read your blog daily...keep up the great work

Just an oversight in my haste to put this up. I need to make a correction: longest playoff drought with same GM. Thanks for catching it, copy editors.

Just goes to show you that changing GMs doesn't make you get to the playoffs.

Dumb luck this year, methinks. Any one run game that went the other way for either team (astros or phils) has a playoff game last Monday at least.

Resume:

Clifford Hall
e-mail: hallcr3@vt.edu

Education:
*Freshman @ Virginia Tech, potential B.S. in Finance

Work Experience:
*General Manager, Cuban Baseball Crisis, Yahoo! Fantasy League

Skills:
*Eye for talent
*Good Negotiator

One thing I failed to mention: I often found Ed Wade guilty of listening to fans too much. Does anyone agree or disagree with that?

I don't really see that Jason, but my guess is you have some good reasons for saying so. What did you notice?

Jim Thome was signed through 2008 to prove a point that they weren't afraid to spend big money. Why else? Nobody else offered that much. Larry Bowa was also a people's choice. Those are the two biggies.

I also think Ed Wade had to pay way more for Thome because he was trying to talk him into playing in the creaky Vet for a year with the lousy astroturf and the rats outnumbering the fans.

With the PSP-that’s ‘Philadelphia Sporting Press‘- in full throated scream about the identity and qualifications about the next general manager of the Phillies, it is clear that the Anointed One is Brian Cashman, current GM of the New York Yankees. Cashman’s elevation to that status came the other day in a Stephen A.(the “A” stands for Asshole) Smith column in the Philadelphia Inquirer, a newspaper that used to be deemed as excellent, but has lapsed into mediocrity over the years by employing columnists like Smith and Bill Lyons who don’t have much to say but manage to say it loudly. The elevation of Cashman to temporary favorite son is no surprise; Philadelphians generally have a inferiority complex when it comes to New York. The thinking goes like this: if New York has it, it must be good: if Philadelphia has it, it must be bad. New York is rich, Philadelphia is poor. You can mix and match your favorite words or phrases-just don’t confuse the order. Sophisticated world capital: working town. Current publishing powerhouse: former home of The Ladies Home Journal . Home of championship baseball: a playoff backwater.

The status of The Anointed One will last up to the moment the next General Manager is named. Instantly, at that point, The Anointed One will become The Ignorant One who clearly mislead the PSP into believing he could move mountains, or even solve such vexing problems as finding a catcher or a third baseman. Today’s clairvoyant PSP, with its rose colored glasses firmly affixed to its upturned nose will disavow any knowledge of it previous shortsightedness. It’s the way of the world. Or at least this world in Philadelphia.

The real problem will be ignored until it is too late. What is the real problem? Brian Cashman will not work in Philadelphia because of two things: money and a decision making hierarchy. In New York, Cashman has access to unlimited amounts of money; In Philadelphia he will not. Nor would he anywhere else for that matter have the unlimited resources found in Yankeeland. One thing George Steinbrenner has managed to prove over and over is that he is willing to spend whatever amount of money is necessary to acquire or get rid of a player, manager, or coach. In Philadelphia, the Phillies are loath to spend a penny more than what they feel is necessary. One reason for this is that the Phillies, as an organization, feel that winning is optional. The Yankees think winning is imperative. If you doubt the veracity of this, please consider two items worthy of championship baseball- Curt Schilling and Scott Rolen. Both were here, both are gone, both are winning, the Phillies are not. Schilling wanted to come back, the Phillies said no. Without the vast sums he could spend in New York what is an Anointed One to do? Answer: be Ed Wade. The other tact that a Cashman could take is to be like Billy Beane, and go do something original and build a team that way. Cashman, to date, has shown no willingness to be original, or bold. Why?

The answer is the other item, a hierarchy to make decisions. It is a hallmark of the Yankees. When the Boss calls his ’baseball people’ together, more people than Brian Cashman show up. It is both a strength and a weakness. It is a strength because as GM you are not out there on your own, it is a weakness because no decisions can be made without a consensus which makes it difficult to be bold. Once here, Cashman will be operating on his own without the support he’s come to rely on to cover his ass if things go wrong. It could be argued that Cashman has less authority than most GM’s because the Boss likes to hold the reins of power. Cashman is not being held accountable for the failures of Randy Johnson or Jared Wright to deliver a championship to the Bronx because those acquisitions were driven by the Boss and approved by the free-agent committee. Make a similarly expensive miscalculation in Philadelphia and the PSP will be all over you with their Monday morning quarterbacking, backstabbing, hypocritical best stuff, and Dave Montgomery will be saying “Brian who?”

All of this is diverting. And, most likely, unnecessary. Given the tone and volume with which new GM search has been given, one would think the Phillies finished in last place. What has been lost is the fact that they finished one game out of the playoffs, they have a pretty good team with an interesting nucleus of young players, and they did it without their best player. Now they’ll probley be ripped apart, take steps backward, and next year everyone will be angry all over again.

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