Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 12/25/11

There’s no doubt that the Philadelphia Phillies are in an elite class of baseball teams today. There’s no doubt they were a special team when they won the World Series back in 2008. There’s no doubt that all of the success of this success is due to Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro Jr., right? Both in their tenure made a few big additions by adding the likes of Brad Lidge, Roy Oswalt, and Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros, trades executed by then general manager of the Astros, Ed Wade.

The recent success of the Phillies has been accredited mainly to the last two general managers, Ruben Amaro Jr. and Hall of Famer Pat Gillick. But where’s Ed Wade’s credit? He did after all send the Phillies Brad Lidge, Roy Oswalt, and Hunter Pence in trades as general manager of the Houston Astros. Not only did he give the Phillies those three players, he also left the Phillies their core of players that he once drafted. Lets see which GM is responsible for what players on the 2008 World Series team, and the team today (Current Free Agents included):

Ruben Amaro Jr.: Placido Polanco (Ed Wade had him on the Phillies in 2003 but then traded him in 2005), Raul Ibanez, Laynce Nix, Brian Schnieder, John Mayberry, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Jim Thome, Hunter Pence**, Roy Oswalt**.

Pat Gillick: Joe Blanton, Chris Coste, Greg Dobbs, Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre, Pedro Feliz, Geoff Jenkins, Jamie Moyer, J.C. Romero, Matt Stairs, Jayson Werth, Brad Lidge**.

Ed Wade: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Shane Victorino, Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Brett Myers, Ryan Madson, Pat Burrell, Charlie Manuel, Jim Thome*, Brad Lidge**, Hunter Pence**, Roy Oswalt**.

*Just resigned this year, not by Wade.

**Traded to the Phillies from Wade as GM of the Astros.

First off, I add Jim Thome to both Ed Wade’s list and Amaro’s list. Amaro brought him back this season, but Thome coming to the Phillies in 2003 was a groundbreaking move for the Phillies back then. Before Thome coming to Philly, Philadelphia was an embarrassing place to play. After all they were a losing team since the 93 miracle run, which at the time was a team that looked like they were out of the movie Major League. Rollins even said that when he was drafted by the Phillies in the early 2000’s, he was embarrassed to walk down the street. Ed Wade however, got that keynote player that would turn Philly from where no player wanted to be what into what it is now, a desirable place where championships are possible. By Wade finally getting that big player, Thome, he put the city back on the map of major league baseball.

Next, look at the manager who won the Phils the World Series, 102 games in one season, and has been in Philly for all three of the general manager’s reign, Charlie Manuel (an Ed Wade hire). And what a hire it was, Manuel is now a living legend in a tough city, where he can now do no wrong.

There’s no question that Gillick made some great moves and added complimentary pieces to the foundation of players Wade left. Adding the likes of Moyer, Dobbs, and Werth were important, but in no way can any of those players compare with the likes of MVPs, Howard and Rollins or World Series MVP Hamels, all who Wade got here. Yet, Gillick won a World Series and is now a Hall of Famer.

The Phillies fired Wade in 2005, hiring Gillick the following season. The Phils won the World Series in 2008, only three seasons after Wade left the organization. That is very rare in baseball that a general manager comes in and wins a World Series in only three seasons. It couldn’t have been done without a great foundation, after all, seven of the ten starters in game one of the World Series were Ed Wade players. Also the set up man and the closer of that game were in Philly because of Wade. If you look at the 2011 NLDS game one line up, six of the nine starters were playing in Philly because of Wade.

You can’t take away credit from Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick for what he did to win Philadelphia their first World Series since 1980. After all, Wade wasn’t able to win a World Series in nine seasons in Philly. And credit can’t be taken away from Ruben Amaro Jr. for the shape the Phillies are in now and the recent milestones they have reached. After all Wade wasn’t able to win 102 games in any season. But the success of the Phillies is always traced back to Gillick and Amaro and no one else. Wade may not have been the most popular during his time in Philly, but he is the reason the other two executives were able to add the one or two players to get the team to where they have. No Wade = No Howard, Utley, Hamels, Victorino, Ruiz, Rollins, Manuel, Oswalt, Lidge, and Pence. Ed Wade has done way more for the city of Philadelphia in terms of baseball then anyone realizes. The truth of the matter is, the success of the Phils couldn’t have been done without all three of these men, maybe that’s why all three are current employees of the Phillies.

-Weinfeld

 

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