"I just wish it had happened sooner."
Wade was the Phillies' GM from 1998-2005. During his tenure, the Phillies drafted several players who were big contributors to this season's team, including Utley, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Rollins, Pat Burrell, Brett Myers, Ryan Madson and Carlos Ruiz.
Additionally, the Phillies selected outfielder Shane Victorino in the Rule 5 Draft at the 2004 Winter Meetings.
During the clubhouse celebration after the Phillies beat the Dodgers to clinch the pennant, current Philadelphia GM Pat Gillick, who took over after the Phillies dismissed Wade in '05, deflected much of the credit, opting instead to praise his predecessor for putting together the nucleus of the current roster.
Wade was moved by the gesture and admits that Gillick's words -- "unprecedented for a GM in that situation" -- meant the world to him.
"I've got a good job now and stuff to do. If I was sitting back with a crummy job, maybe this wouldn't be so easy."
-- Astros GM Ed Wade|
on the Phillies winning
the World Series
"I'm extremely grateful for the remarks Pat made," Wade said. "But the reality is this is Pat's team, and [assistant general managers] Mike Arbuckle and Ruben Amaro Jr. The credit has to go to the people there right now -- the people who have been there for a long time in the trenches."
Wade spoke with Gillick after the National League Championship Series and reached out to many more former colleagues during the Phillies' postseason run, though Wade described the contact as "casual."
"It was more just wishing them well after it was clear we weren't getting in [the playoffs] and they did," Wade said. "It was casual contact back and forth. The level of contact and communication increased significantly after Pat made his remarks. I talked to people I hadn't talked to in a long time, and others that may have expressed themselves different three years ago."
"Former colleagues. Former staff from other departments. Friends. Guys I went to college with and grew up with," Wade said. "They were basically saying things like, 'Finally.' It's great that Pat said the things he said, and I'm very appreciative of it. But the credit still has to go to the people there right now."
Wade repeated his earlier stance that it's the unsung heroes that should get most of the credit when a team wins a World Series -- namely, the scouts.
"It's nice to see the fruits of their labor win a world championship," Wade said. "Whether names are attached or not, they know who they are. The lifeblood of an organization is scouting and player development."
Wade has been asked to speak about the Phillies dozens of times throughout the month, and each time, he was gracious and thoughtful with his comments. He's happy for the Phillies, but considering how busy he is in his current position with the Astros, he's not dwelling too much on the past.
"I've got a good job now and stuff to do," Wade said. "If I was sitting back with a crummy job, maybe this wouldn't be so easy. I can be happy for the Phillies that they won the World Series, but we're working here to win a championship in Houston."