Thursday, August 19, 2004

Unsteady Hands

It’s all over but the shouting and we can be sure there will be plenty of that in the coming weeks. The only remaining sport where the Phillies are concerned will be the blame game. While many will argue there is plenty to spread around, the question of ultimate culpability should rest squarely with Ed Wade, the GM. As the principal architect of the club Wade made the greatest number of miscalculations as the season wore on and down.

Simply put, Ed Wade panicked.

He failed to realize prior to the July 31 trading deadline there were simply too many holes to fill. The acquisition of mediocre reliever Todd Jones still remains a complete mystery. Even the trade for Felix Rodriguez, whose record is good, remains puzzling if for no other reason than because San Francisco is still contending for a wildcard spot. Under the circumstances one must wonder what prompted them to give him up?

Worse, immediately following the deadline Wade acquired Cory Lidle, a journeyman pitcher whose immediate value is highly debatable while the prospects surrendered for him as well as Jones and Rodriguez could have a significant impact in the future.

We cannot blame Larry Bowa for any of these questionable deals. Wade made them and Bowa was forced to live with them. Even if Wade asked Bowa for his opinion, what was a manager on the verge of dismissal going to say? Don’t get help? The steady hand on the tiller belongs to the GM and in this case we can assume Wade’s hand was shaking uncontrollably.

If a housecleaning is in order, and we know one is, it should start at the top.

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