Game Time: Astros' GM Ed Wade Is Making His Booty Call To The Phillies
|I'm Ed Wade and I miss you, baby|
Actually, if you look up "booty call" on urbandictionary.com, there are about a dozen different definitions, all meaning about the same thing -- when you're in desperate need of consummation at the 11th hour, either because you've been too preoccupied to even try or because you've been trying almost too damn hard, you make the call to the old reliable stand-by -- the "booty call."
It's July 20. Roy Oswalt is still an Astro. And general manager Ed Wade is doing what you do when you're job depends on closing the deal -- he is sexting the Philadelphia Phillies with his best "two in the morning" playa' material.
He is making his GM booty call.
The trade deadline is eleven days away, so to say that we are at the 11th hour in terms of a deal getting done may be a slight exaggeration, but it's not overstating the case at all to say that Ed Wade will be judged most harshly for the first time (all right, maybe the second) in his tenure as Astros general manager come August 1, 2010, when we all assess what he was able to get by flipping assets like Roy Oswalt (the big prize), Brett Myers (the easiest to move), and Lance Berkman (whatever he can get). That's assuming he is able to flip any of them.
Rest assured, for a team that is 38-56 with no signs of being a contender anytime in the next two or three years, Ed Wade almost needs to flip all three. His sole focus should be on shedding the Astros' organization of as many players who don't figure into their plans in 2013 as is humanly possible, Oswalt chief among them because of the prospects he could potentially bring.
Presumably, Ed Wade has been working the phones trying to find a Roy a new home for some time now, at the very least since Roy publicly expressed a couple months ago that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause for a chance to win a ring. Rumor has it, talks with the Phillies are heating up. The fact that the Phillies are now the rumored landing spot for Oswalt (or perhaps Myers) is a possible indicator of exactly how effectively Wade's "shop around" efforts have been going.
|If you like it then you better...|
Because it would appear when Ed Wade is in need of doing something, he is comfortable dealing with the Phillies or, at the very least, with players who have the stench of Philadelphia on them. The same way many of
us you are perhaps comfortable when you're a little bit wasted at two in the morning and you start punching up familiar digits on the cell phone because it's necessary to "clean out the system."
"I need a splashy deal to get things kicked off as the new general manager? Here you go, Philly...here's Brad Lidge. Give me some of that sweet Bourn; let me grab your Geary. (To be fair, Michael Bourn has been solid for the Astros; that said, Lidge got the final out of a World Series and saved 40 games in 2008.)"
"We need a fourth outfielder -- hey, Jason Michaels! You played for me in Philly. well, it's quarter after one, I'm a little drunk, and I neeeeed you now."
"Damn, we need a veteran third baseman -- no one can pick those out better than me! Pedro Feliz, you played for Philly, right? How'd you like to be the next David Bell? Here's $4.5 million, now dim the lights..."
"We ALWAYS need starting pitching....does Brett Myers like Cabernet or Merlot?"
Yeah, safe to say that Ed Wade's previous employer and players associated with them feel safe to Wade. A true "when in doubt, call 'em" situation. All of the above are different flavors of the baseball GM booty call (and yes, Pedro Feliz is the booty call where you wake up the next day with syphilis.)
Hell, go to Ed Wade's bio on Wikipedia -- he started out early in his career by booty calling himself back and forth from Philadelphia to Houston. (It always seems to start with self-gratification at a young age). Wade went from Philly to Houston in 1977 when he was a public relations guy, and then from Houston to Philly in 1989 when he left Tal Smith Enterprises to take a front office job with the Phillies.
(SIDE BAR: My favorite part of Ed Wade's bio -- "Wade worked for [Tal Smith Enterprises] until May 5, 1989, when he rejoined the Phillies as assistant to the general manager. In 1995, he was promoted to assistant general manager." Somewhere, Dwight Shrute approves of that promotion.)
To be clear, I don't have a problem with Ed Wade making a deal with the Phillies if it's truly the best deal he can make. I just think it's kind of humorous that when the sand in the baseball-trade hourglass is running out, the Roy Oswalt smoke begins to billow from the 215 area code. The only people that don't think it's funny are probably the Texans who have spent the better part of the last four years drunk-dialing the Denver Broncos.
As for the Phillies, they're currently seven games behind the Braves in the National League East and four games off the N.L. wild card pace (in the mix with a handful of teams). Roy Oswalt immediately makes them the most dangerous team in the league for the final two months of the season. Of this, I have no doubt.
A deal for Oswalt would give them two of the top three most winning pitchers of this decade (Sabathia 148 wins, Halladay 145 wins, Oswalt 143 wins), both healthy and both still at the back end of their respective primes for at least this season and next season. Cole Hamels was the MVP of the World Series in 2008, and is just entering his prime -- he would be their third starter.
If the Phillies get back in the mix by September (and really a solid two-week run would do it), then they finish with six of the final twelve games of the regular season head-to-head with the Braves. Forget about the lineup the Phillies trot out one through eight every day (which is formidable) -- Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels (if they're all healthy, a big key) make the Phillies the favorites to win the whole thing if they can find a way into the postseason.
The nucleus of this Phillies team (Hamels, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley) was drafted by Ed Wade when he was their general manager. He hired Charlie Manuel to manage this team. Wade was fired in 2005 because the Phillies failed to translate that talent into postseason success. Then he came to Houston and sent Philly Brad Lidge; a Phillies title soon followed in 2008.
Now Wade may help the Phillies sew up another championship by sending Roy Oswalt north. That'd be three N.L. titles in a row, and potentially two world championships. Indeed, Ed Wade would be racking up titles in Philadelphia, even as his paycheck contains an Astros' logo.
Here's hoping he gets cracking on one for Houston pretty soon.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.