I'm sure by now everyone's heard that Charlie Manuel and Pat Gillick credited Ed Wade for the Phillies NLCS title last night (question: did anyone do this for Hunsicker in '05? I can't remember if it ever came up, but I don't remember anyone saying that). While Ed Wade has been gracious in deflecting the praise to the people below him, I'm sure he's got an extra ounce of swagger in his step today -- deservedly so the way he got run out of their.
Alyson Footer got a hold of Mr. Wade and amidst the praising of Charlie Manuel and the scouts he had the organization, Wade dropped this tidbit:
"Any baseball executive will say the same thing," Wade said. "It sounds like it's a baseball cliche: the lifeblood of an organization begins and ends with player development and scouting. But you look at the Phillies roster -- it absolutely holds true.
"It's going to take some time and we've indicated that. At some point in time here, we hope the core group of talent is comprised of players that have been either drafted or signed as amateur free agents in the United States or Latin America or other areas. That's the way to sustain success. Most clubs can't be out in the free agent market every year and make 10 trades every year and have a chance for long-term success. It has to come from within."
While most of that was just GM fluff, I got hung up and annoyed by the last little bit. I, more so than most people I know, understand the absolute economic imperative of developing talent from within an organization, but the way Wade was kind saying that this is going to take awhile and we've got stay away from FA and trades got to me. I get that we can't hamstring the organization in an avalanche of long-term contracts and sacrifice compensation picks, but it's not like this team is multiple pieces away from being good either. It's about an 80 win team right now (Zips Projections/my gut) and is no more than 10 wins at the margin away from locking in a play off spot, a top tier FA starter gets us most of the way there, without too much cost to the farm system -- especially if let Wolf and Brocail walk.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that Wade is placing such a heavy emphasis on rebuilding, but he's got to do a better of job of convincing Drayton to fork over the dough to get us quality starting pitching.