Friday, September 03, 2004

Teflon Ed

Bad news, friends -- no "Morning Bytes" in today's Inquirer. Maybe Frank Fitzpatrick got beaten up on the flight back from Athens by someone whose nationality he maligned. Fortunately, one need look no further than a couple of pages back in the Inky's sports section to find a piece as difficult to read as Frank's weekly exercise in bad stand-up.

That would be Sam Carchidi's story confirming Ed Wade's return as general manager of the Phillies next year. President David Montgomery said the team is "in much better shape now than we were back" before Wade's tenure began, which is true enough but which also must be evaluated in terms of just how staggeringly inept the mid-to-late-'90s Phillies were. The bar, as they say, was pretty low.

Carchidi, who had a public run-in with Wade earlier this season, uses unusually sharp words --

Another year, another missed opportunity.

For the third time in the last four seasons, the Phillies -- who are now closer to last place than first place in the National League East -- failed to acquire a player near the July 31 trade deadline who would carry them into the playoffs.

In fact, for the third time in four years, the players the Phils acquired have contributed mightily to the club's falling out of contention. ... Most have been flops. ...

The Phils have a 534-570 record, including two winning seasons and no playoff appearances, in Wade's seven years as general manager.

-- to contextualize Montgomery's defense of his GM. What Carchidi forgot to mention was Wade's allowing Larry Bowa another year to screw up. Or his failure to provide players at the top of the lineup able to set the table for the big boppers. To name, you know, just a couple of things.

So Phil Sheridan was right. In holding onto Bowa, his human shield, Wade bought himself another year. Fine -- but next season, he and Monty should be the ones held accountable.


At September 3, 2004 at 2:25 PM, Blogger Tom Goodman said...

Tom: Why do you characterize the Carchidi piece as "difficult to read" let alone speak of him in the same breath as Fitzpatrick? His piece is sharp and uncompromising, but the circumstances warrant his tone and perspective.

At September 3, 2004 at 2:32 PM, Blogger Jason Mulgrew said...


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At September 3, 2004 at 2:45 PM, Blogger Wyatt Earp said...

How can you say "next year, he and Monty should be the ones held accountable?" What about THIS year???

Prediction: Beginning in April, Phils fans will completely forget about this year's scandalous performance, and fill CBP to the rafters. It is disgusting. It is obvious that Montgomery cares about one thing: the almighty dollar, and since there are so many clueless baseball fans in this town that will STILL support this team, he will get what he wants - which is NOT a playoff berth!

At September 3, 2004 at 2:51 PM, Blogger Tom said...

A point of clarification, Tom -- the piece was difficult to read not because of the writing but because of the content. Which leads to your comment, Shawn -- I DO think they should be held accountable this season, but it seems as if that's not gonna happen. But they'll have no shields next year.

At September 4, 2004 at 11:43 AM, Blogger Tom G. said...

Honestly, I can let Wade slide for this year. His biggest fault has been letting Bowa manage way too long and his second worst fault - a distant second - is his trade deadline deals.

But look at the players he has brought to the Phils (am I sounding like a broken record yet?)..."Well, we have a volcanic manager and a fan base more than willing to boo their grandmothers, and we rarely win anything...wanna come play for us?"

Folks can say he has overpaid for players, but that is because you have to overpay a bit when you are working against all those other factors.

Having said all that, if next year is a disappointment as well, using a "players manager", then Wade and Montgomery are definitely to blame.

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