11:33pm: The Astros have confirmed in a press release that they are letting General Manager Ed Wade and President of Baseball Operations Tal Smith go. The release goes on to say that Assistant GM Dave Gottfried will serve as interim GM until a new GM is hired. However, Gottfried is not a candidate for the permanent position. The search for a new GM “begins immediately”.
Good news, sports fans.
One of the longest clusterfucks of baseball “general” managing – is over.
MLBTradeRumors.com reports that the Houston Astros have dismissed lame duck general manager Ed Wade and President of Baseball Operations Tal Smith.
This is great news for the Houston Astros fans – but bad news for rival GMs – as they will all have one less Kenny Williams to swindle at the trade deadline every season. Now I am sure Ed Wade is a good guy and all, but hell, it’s been a long, shitty road for the Astros in recent years, and the change needed to happen. Possibly even more so with the impending move to the American League in 2013, in which you KNOW the Astros are going to get there brains kicked in for at least two years, maybe upwards to half of a decade.
Don’t believe me? Check out the maneuvers of Ed Wade during his reign as Astros GM (plus, to prove I am not making anything up, here’s an unbiased timeline of Ed Wade in Houston, with my comments):
Hey Ed, Congrats on the new job. We’ve got a good group here in Houston, maybe with some tweaks, we can build a winner out of this team.
On November 8, 2007, Wade traded relief pitcher Brad Lidge, along with reserve infielder Eric Bruntlett, to the Phillies in exchange for second-year outfielder Michael Bourn, middle reliever Geoff Geary, and third base prospect Mike Costanzo.Lidge had been a highly successful closer for the Astros in 2004 and 2005, but had fallen out of favor after giving up a dramatic home run to Albert Pujols in the 2005 National League Championship Series and struggling the following season. The Phillies and Lidge went on to win the World Series in 2008.
Good job, Ed. We didn’t need that scapegoat, anyways. Who are we getting in return? Ah! A potential leadoff hitter, a super utility guy and a nice 3B prospect. Looks like a playoff team to me.
On December 12, 2007, Wade acquired shortstop Miguel Tejada in exchange for Luke Scott, Matt Albers, Costanzo, Dennis Sarfate, and Troy Patton. The trade was controversial, in part because Tejada was mentioned as a possible steroid user in the Mitchell Report, which was released the day after the trade. The day after the Mitchell Report, he traded Chad Qualls, Chris Burke, and Juan Gutierrez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for closer Jose Valverde.
Miguel Tejada! Nice job, Wadey! Real pure superstar talent there! Err, wait. Oh. Mitchell Report, eh? Hmm. Who’d we give up? Hey, Luke Scott’ll never amount to anything. We still need a closer, though. Valvdere! Ahhhhh he’s fun. Good thing you only gave up a decent closer and two prospects/utility guys for one lucky closer. Well done!
Actually, I can’t really dump on ol’ Wadey too much here. He saw some potential with his club, and jumped on it. Somehow, Miguel Tejada put up WARs 0f 3.4 and 2.7 in his two full Astro seasons, which. I guess, isn’t absolutely terrible. Not particularly good, but ya’know, whatever.
On June 25, 2008, Wade was engaged in a dispute with Astros reliever Shawn Chacon. After a while, Chacon burst and grabbed Wade by the neck and threw him to the ground. The Astros suspended Chacon indefinitely. This event eventually led to Shawn Chacon being released. He has not played in Major League Baseball since.
Umm, yeah. Fuck Shawn Chacon.
Really, Ed? Really?
I wasn’t Wade’s only opponent on these signings. Year, setup/closer guys keep you in games, but they don’t win them for you. You still have the Hunter Pence and Michael Bourne holding up the horse corpse of Carlos Lee. But no, go ahead, sign some 15-minutes of fame end-bullpen guys i.e. Billy Koch, Bobby Jenks, Matt Capps stylee.
On July 29th, 2010 Wade traded Roy Oswalt to the Philadelphia Phillies for J.A. Happ and two minor league players, center fielder Anthony Gose, and shortstop Jonathan Villar. Gose was then traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Brett Wallace.
Here, things seemed like they might be turning around for the better in Wade’s tenure. This was a good swap – one of the few decent aspects of the ‘Stros from 2007-2011 was a serviceable rotation. While you never saw them wina lot of games – you’d also rarely see them blown out. The Astros were on their way to another losing season, so why not flip Oswalt for some youngs studs? Phillies seem to be getting them via mailorder, anyways, so a good trade both ways.
On July 29th, 2011, Wade traded All-Star right fielder Hunter Pence to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid, and a Player to be named later who was Domingo Santana.I feel as though Ruben Amaro is in a permanent pissing contest with Alex Anthopoulous over who can take the most GMs from behind, rape them of their team’s talent, and haunt their dreams for years to come. As much of an AA fan I am right now, Ruben’s record is a bit better – but as C. Montgomery burns would say: “Well, I am older than you.”
But this post isn’t about Executive of the Year candidates – it’s about Ed Wade dismissal. And if losing Pence for Cosart+ wasn’t enough:
On July 30, 2011, he traded Star center fielder Michael Bourn to the Braves for pitchers Juan Abreu and Brett Oberholtzer and center fielder Jordan Schafer.  The Astros ended the season with a record of 56-106, last in the majors.
Ugggghhhhhhh. Juan Abreu and Brett Oberholtzer? For realz, player? This deal effectively ended Wade’s time in Houston – although it took four months to become official. With the sale of the Astros impending, the move to the AL announced, everyone knew Ed Wade was on his way out.
What’s next for the Astros? MLBTR is reporting that the new GM search will start immediately – which almost doesn’t seem soon enough to fix this mangled franchise. The good news for Astros fan though is that Ed Wade is gone, and baseball is a fickle game – they could be World Series Champions soon enough.
Unlikely, but still.