Tag:Tal Smith
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 1:54 am
 

Astros fire GM Wade, president Smith

By Matt Snyder

In news that is hardly surprising, the Houston Astros are making major changes to the front office, including the dismissal of general manager Ed Wade. Club president Tal Smith -- who has been with the club for 35 seasons -- has also been dismissed. Sources have told Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com that Smith was told via phone he was fired.

Crane is going to meet with the front office Monday morning. Per Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, Crane and club president George Postolos have meetings set with both the baseball and business sides of operations. Assistant general manager Dave Gottfried is now the interim general manager, but is not a candidate to be the new GM.

"With the change in ownership, we would like a fresh start in baseball operations," Postolos said in a statement. "We have told Ed Wade and Tal Smith that we are making a change. We recognize their dedication to the Houston Astros. We thank each of them for their significant contributions and many years of service to the Astros, and wish them our very best as they pursue new opportunities.

"The search for a new General Manager begins immediately. We are searching for a candidate who has the knowledge, skills and experience to build a winner and a strong commitment to player development in order to sustain success. Our goal is to consistently compete for a championship, and we know the first step towards that goal is to develop one of the top farm systems in baseball. We will hire the best candidate available to achieve our goal."

The smart money is on a quick hire, considering the Winter Meetings begin in just one week. Not that a hire will take place before then, it's just an illustration of how much the Astros are now behind other teams in looking for front office personnel for the 2012 season.

Houston General Manager
All the ingredients for a change were in place. First of all, the 2011 Astros were the worst team in franchise history, going 56-106 and finishing with the worst record in baseball. There also isn't a ton of help on the way from a relatively barren farm system. Next, new owner Jim Crane is taking over for Drayton McLane. With a change in ownership and a team that basically needs to start over -- especially since they're headed to the American League West -- it is the perfect time to bring in a new regime.

Wade, 55, was named the Astros' GM in September of 2007 and under his watch the Astros have gotten progressively worse. Not only did they trade away long-time fan favorites Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman, but they went from 86 to 56 wins in just four years. Wade was previously the GM of the Phillies, but was fired after the 2005 season.

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