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:
“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 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
“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
“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, 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 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
Odd to see Melvin behind a team structured around pitching and defense, after watching him sign guys like Braden Looper, Doug Davis, and Jeff Suppan…
Yeah, seems more like the new guys stating the obvious fixes rather than some philosophical leaning. Without looking I’d guess his teams usually have had better offensive success than either pitching or defensive success.
wish the brewers made a commitment to pitching and defense when they signed melvin in ’02
If they had, you wouldn’t have (or have had) Weeks, Braun, Fielder, CC Sabathia (via Matt LaPorta) in Milwaukee. The move away from pitching/fielding was dictated by good bats dropping in several drafts.
Free agency isn’t that easy. They tried. Failed too often, but tried to buy pitching.
It boggles my mind that Jim Hendry is still GM of the Cubs.
I look at the list of NL Central GM’s and I think I understand why the division is so bad. Walt Jocketty’s pretty good; Ed Wade is pretty good on the draft/farm side of things. The rest of them just aren’t any good. Mozeliak and Hendry always overpay for everything they sign or trade for; Huntington trades for the most part brought back mediocrity; and Melvin doesn’t seem to understand that you need pitching and defense to go with your offense.
That division is still going to suck for awhile.