Thursday, September 20, 2007
Guess who's back?!?
That's right, mofos: One of the true O.G.s in the team-killing G.M.-ing game is back in business. Give a hand to the humongous, yet strangely empty, dome of Eddie Motherfuckin' Wade, A.K.A. The Shitty Reliever Whisperer.
I'm sure Frenchy has some pointed barbs for Wade, but I'm appreciative of the opportunity to get in here first. Listen, Ed Wade is not only a horrible G.M., he might actually be one of the worst I've ever seen, regardless of the sport. Unlike other horrible G.M.s who have to juggle the demands of their stunning levels of incompetence with tightwad/meddling/corporate ownership, Ed Wade actually managed to skullfuck the Phillies without outside interference. He was permitted a competitive payroll, a great market, and some really good young players around whom to build. And yet, he managed to make the kind of franchise-killing mistakes one usually reserves for the likes of Kevin Malone.
Part of what makes this so much fun is I was just listening to an interview with Michael Lewis today, and (not surprisingly) the subject of Moneyball came up. On that subject, he commented that most surprising about the response to the book was that other teams didn't rush out to try and ape Beane's now-exposed strategy, and instead mocked it (though, with the caveat that many GMs now started paying attention to OBP a little more). That was true a year after the book came out, and is apparently still true now. There is no less-deserving man in America of another G.M. post than Ed Wade, yet he's been handed the keys to another franchise. At least the cupboard is so bare in that franchise that there won't be the added torture for Astros fan of watching Wade destroy a good thing.
I don't want to start throwing around the "-isms" here, because it's done too often and rarely well-defended. But I am going to say that there are a lot of "non-traditional" candidates for G.M. positions right now — including Kim Ng, Ruben Amaro, DePo, Logan White, etc. — that have been on the shelf for a while now, waiting for some club with a little bit of imagination to take a shot. I'm not saying that all are equally qualified, or good fits for the Astros, or are even most deserving of a job when held up against the field. But I do know that baseball is a fuck of a lot more discriminatory in its hiring practices that just about any other major business out there. It's not even about race or sex so much as it is simply about the fact that the strongest force in the game is inertia. Ed Wade has done everything in his power to demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he's not fit to run a group of beer vendors, not to mention a major league team. Yet, he's another in a long list of old, white men who find that it's virtually impossible to not get a job in baseball once you've already had one. Unless your name is Cito Gaston.