What They Were Saying: NL Central GMs

Remember when Ed Wade was part of a new generation of GMs? It's OK if you don't since we dug up the details on Wade and the rest of his NL Central counterparts. Here's how they were perceived when they got their first GM jobs:

Doug Melvin

“When the Rangers signed Melvin to a three-year contract, they made a commitment to pitching and defense. They need it. In 1994, the Rangers finished 13th in pitching and 14th in fielding in the American League. Poor performances in those areas played a large role in their 52-62 record. Melvin said he wants a team built around pitching and defense.” – Jean-Jacques Taylor, The Dallas Morning News, October 11th, 1994

Walt Jocketty

“Walt Jocketty and his brother played baseball in the backyard when they were growing up and pretended they were St. Louis pitchers Lindy and Von McDaniel, who are brothers.

Jocketty appreciates the Cardinals' tradition. And finally he has become a general manager after interviewing for that position with Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Colorado in the past and Texas recently, only to have that job filled by Doug Melvin.” – Larry Harnly, The State Journal-Register, October 18th, 1994

Ed Wade

“Wade, bespectacled, conservatively dressed, his sandy hair precisely parted, was an efficient and loyal administrator who shouldered the contract and deadline matters his boss disliked.

But Tuesday, this 41-year-old native of Pennsylvania's coal regions who has a journalism degree from Temple moved out of [former GM Lee] Thomas' shadows. Wade was named the Phillies' acting general manager after Thomas was fired, and immediately there were questions about his readiness. Wade is the latest example of a powerful trend in the sport, one that has seen businesslike administrators replacing gritty baseball veterans as GMs.” Frank Fitzpatrick, The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 9th, 1997

Jim Hendry

“The time has come for Cubs president/general manager Andy MacPhail to delegate full authority to Jim Hendry, whose onerous title of vice president of player personnel is too cumbersome and corporate for someone as earthy and unpretentious as Hendry. GM sounds just right for him.” – Mike Kiley, The Chicago Sun-Times, June 14th, 2002 

Neal Huntington

“Neal Huntington, a former Cleveland Indians assistant general manager who was moved to a mostly scouting role two years ago, was hired Tuesday as the Pittsburgh Pirates' general manager. The 37-year-old Huntington replaces Dave Littlefield, who was fired earlier this month after failing to produce a winning season since being hired in July 2001. The Pirates are finishing up a 15th consecutive losing season, one short of the major league record, and their fifth with 90 or more losses since 2000.” – Alan Robinson, The Associated Press, September 25th, 2007 

John Mozeliak

“John Mozeliak has a Clark Kent look about him, so naturally Cardinals fans are wondering if he'll have the necessary muscle to reshape the franchise and give it a push forward, into the future. In his introductory press conference after being named the Cardinals' general manager, Mozeliak spoke calmly and in somewhat measured tones, so it was easy to miss some of the punch that went into what he said.” – Bernie Miklasz, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 1st, 2007

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