Balls, Sticks, & Stuff
8/02/2004
 
Wade's Days Numbered?
In addition to L-Bo's head on a stick, many Philly media members are calling for Ed Wade to go, too. This I find odd. Yes, he's failed at the deadline the last couple of years, but what did the Braves do this year? Absolutely nothing. Tom Martin? F-Rod (does that sound as dirty to everyone else as it does to me?) and Todd Jones look like Beltran and the Big Unit compared to that.

I'd actually be upset had Wade dispensed Gavin Floyd and/or Cole Hamels for anything short of the aforementioned Unit or Beltran. Mortgage the future for a 39-year-old centerfielder? No thanks. How bout a starting pitcher? Well lets take a good look at who moved.

Victor Zambrano can't find the strike zone if Manute Bol steps up to the plate. The Mets traded a prized prospect for him. They can try and fix him.

Kris Benson? He's had two good months at the right time. Granted he's had a lot of injuries, but doesn't that just make him damaged goods?

And let's say you get one of them, now who leaves the rotation in two weeks when Padilla returns? Millwood? Myers? Milton? Wolf? Remember, whoever they may have traded for would have bumped Paul Abbott. Myers would be the most likely candidate, but by demoting him from the rotation, or sending him to Scranton, you basically have signed his death certificate for success in Philly. I really think Wade's hands were a little tied as far as getting a starter were concerned. He was going to have to include one of those first four starters in the deal - without getting anything significantly better in return. Matt Morris, aka Johnny Human Torch, and Steve Kline for Millwood and Placido Polanco might not have really helped anything but the bullpen. Morris has bookended outings of 1.2 IP with seven earned runs and 0.2 IP with eight earned around a complete game shutout.

Had the Phillies gotten Beltran from Houston somehow, it would have been the fourth time since 1994 that the Phils basically robbed the Astros. In 1994, the Phillies shipped Mitch 'Wild Thing' Williams for Doug Jones and Jeff Juden (OK, Jones only gave them one solid year and Juden never panned out, but Williams was a train wreck). In 1997, the Phillies made an agreement with Tampa Bay to have the D-Rays take Houston's Bobby Abreu and trade him to the Phillies for Kevin Stocker (the Phillies had TB as an accomplice on this one). Then this last offseason, the Phils got Billy Wagner for Brandon Duckworth (aka Gary Busey), Taylor Buckholz (having a terrible year in AAA) and Ezequiel Astacio.

Bill Conlin, on phillynews.com, points out deals Paul Owens made in the years prior to the 1980 Championship for Tugger and Bake McBride, but none DURING that year. Several deals from a few years later are the ones many of us remember though. Five for Von Hayes. Bowa and that Sandberg guy for Ivan DeJesus.

Plus, without Ed Wade would the Phils have been in the market for Jim Thome and Billy Wagner the past two seasons? Perhaps, but perhaps not.


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