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Ed Wade Returns, Hopefully to Claim His Ring

Dec 20, 2011, 8:51 AM EDT

Ed Wade's complicated legacy in Philly has been rewritten favorably since he left. Will he be remembered for his positives or negatives? Either way, he's back with the club he helped build into a winner.

As his departure became more and more likely in Houston, the line often heard and read around these parts was, “I bet he ends up back with the Phillies.”

And he has. Richard Justice of MLB.com said he’d heard that Ed Wade would be back with the team as a scout, and CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury has confirmed that that he will be back with the scouting department in some capacity. Wade’s tenure as Phillies GM wasn’t considered to be a particularly good one at the time, but he returns to a team that still fields a talented group of players drafted during his time here, including Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, and even Vance Worley. (Worley opted to go to college, but was again drafted in 2008, this time by Pat Gillick’s regime.) Charlie Manuel was also his guy, and he selected Shane Victorino in the Rule 5 draft (but almost returned him). Wade and his scouts drafted the recently departed Ryan Madson, as well as Pat Burrell.

That’s not to say he didn’t also make some critical missteps. It’s hard to think of anyone who was less popular during a Philly tenure than Wade. But, in its own cruel way, history has been increasingly kind to his legacy. The guys listed above finally did win us a World Series. While Wade couldn’t himself put it all together, he drew the prototype on the cocktail napkin and saw through it the startup phase. I certainly didn’t appreciate what he had put in place at the time, how close he was.

The Gillick Era will be seen by many, particularly as years pass, as the phase in which the Phillies went from being the bums who were a constant letdown to the heroes who have owned the city’s sporting hearts from 2008 ’til question marks. But Gillick would be the first to credit Wade for the work he did leading up to that.

Since leaving, Wade’s also been seen by some as a guy easily fleeced by his former club, leading to jokes that he had a golden parachute job in waiting back in Philly (there are also other Ed Wade parachute jokes, as you may have heard). The Good Phight put together a good summary of the reasons why Wade was not in fact ripped off on the several deals between the Phillies and Astros while he was with Houston, which is worth a read.

And now, Wade’s back with the Phillies. Maybe he can finally be part of a World Series winner, with several of his own guys leading the way. If not, IT WILL ALL BE WADE’S FAULT. FIRE WADE NOW. Sorry, force of habit.