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Hunsicker to the Phillies?

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Jared Novak, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. Jared Novak

    Jared Novak Contributing Member

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    With Ed Wade being let go in Philadelphia and Gerry Hunsicker having had some down time from the game, I think its possible that Hunsicker may take the GM position with the Phillies.

    I've heard him several times on the afternoon show with Charlie Pallilo on 790, and heard him hint at missing the game, but has also mentioned a fondness for racing his horses and spending time with his wife.

    Just speculation on my part, but I think it could seriously happen.
     
  2. Castor27

    Castor27 Moderator
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    I read or heard somewhere last week, that the Hun may end up with the Rangers. I can't remember exactly what reasoning they gave but I remember thinking it actually made some sense.
     
  3. jtotheb

    jtotheb Contributing Member

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    Rangers already hired their GM. Some 29 year old baseball savant. Can't remember his name though.

    Here's the link:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2181048
     
  4. wrath_of_khan

    wrath_of_khan Contributing Member

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    Philly sports radio has consistently listed Hunsicker as one of the top candidates for the job ever since Ed Wade was fired. Plus, Hun has Philly ties -- he went to St. Joe's and is in their Hall of Fame.

    He's definitely a top candidate for the Philly job.

    Personally, this scares me. He'd have a great nucleus to work with and could turn them into one of the top NL teams if he can get a couple of starters...

    http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/sports/12871047.htm

    Scouting the candidates

    By PAUL HAGEN
    hagenp@phillynews.com

    NOBODY DOES lightning rods better than Philadelphia. Been that way ever since Ben Franklin went flying that kite in a long-ago thunderstorm.

    So Ed Wade is out, zapped after 8 years as the Phillies' general manager, an apparent victim of the restless discontent from the paying customers, coupled with the fact that there were nearly 600,000 fewer of them this season than the year before.

    Club president Dave Montgomery said yesterday that this wasn't a snap decision, and that fits with the rumors that have seeped out of the executive compound in recent weeks. Still, while the possibility of making this change has been on the table for a while, the move seems to have been made without a firm grip on who might be more successful.

    With that in mind, here's a look at some of the logical candidates who could be considered:

    Gerry Hunsicker

    This is the first name nearly everybody mentions. He's a native of Collegeville, Pa., who went on to play baseball at St. Joe's and, in 1988, was inducted into the school's baseball hall of fame. As a youngster he played at both Connie Mack Stadium and Veterans Stadium.

    While he was the Astros' general manager from 1996 through 2004, Houston went 701-595 and made five playoff appearances. He made go-for-the-jugular trading-deadline deals that put stars like Randy Johnson and Carlos Beltran into an Astros uniform; neither player took Houston to the World Series or stayed after becoming a free agent at the end of the season, however.

    Hunsicker also signed free agent Andy Pettitte, who in turn persuaded Roger Clemens to come out of retirement. Along with Roy Oswalt, that gave the Astros a rotation that came within a game of making it to the World Series last year and has taken the team to the National League Championship Series again this season.

    After clashing with owner Drayton McLane, Hunsicker unexpectedly stepped down after the 2004 season. He's been rumored to be in line to succeed Chuck LaMar in Tampa Bay, but it's believed the Phillies would be his clear No. 1 choice.


    Contacted by phone yesterday, Hunsicker politely said he preferred not to comment.

    Mike Arbuckle and Ruben Amaro Jr.

    Wade's assistants are both certain to apply for the job. There were indications a couple of years ago that Arbuckle was considered next in the line of succession, but it's unclear whether that implied promise remains in effect.

    One view is that, after the public outcry that followed the decision not to hire Jim Leyland as manager last offseason, Montgomery will feel compelled to go for a "name" candidate.

    Amaro has long Phillies bloodlines. His father has been a valued member of the organization for decades, he played for the team himself and was a batboy for the organization's only world championship team in 1980. He also speaks fluent Spanish, and it can't hurt that he has a degree from Stanford.

    Brian Cashman

    It's no secret that the Yankees' general manager could be on the market after his current contract expires on Oct. 31, either by his choice or George Steinbrenner's. He certainly would bring a ton of credibility with him and wouldn't be intimidated by the Philadelphia market after working in the New York fishbowl.

    He could, however, have other options. There have been rumors linking him to the Washington Nationals' job.

    And he's reportedly making more than $2 million with the Yankees while the Phillies haven't made a habit of spending extravagantly on their general managers.

    Dan Duquette

    He's been laying low since being let go by the Red Sox in 2002. According to sources, however, he was in Philadelphia this summer to have lunch with John Middleton, one of the Phillies' silent owners. The connection: Both are graduates of Amherst.

    While Duquette had a reputation for being standoffish while with the Red Sox, nobody denies that he's smart.

    Contacted yesterday, he said he'd "absolutely" be interested in being considered for the position but declined to elaborate.

    Others

    Many other names are certain to surface.

    There are several former general managers who would undoubtedly be interested. Steve Phillips (Mets), Jim Duquette (Mets) and Dan Evans (Dodgers) fit that profile.

    Sometimes teams look for assistants from clubs that have had success. Atlanta's Frank Wren, for example, has worked side-by-side with John Schuerholz and also was briefly the Orioles' GM.

    Other candidates in that category could include Mark Newman and Damon Oppenheimer (Yankees), Ned Colletti (Giants), David Wilder (White Sox), Mike Hill (Marlins) and Oneri Fleita (Cubs). Wilder, Hill and Fleita, like Amaro, would address baseball's policy of interviewing minority candidates.

    After the success of Billy Beane in Oakland, some teams have turned to general managers with a sabremetrical background. Boston's Josh Byrnes, a graduate of Haverford College, and Oakland's David Forst, from Harvard, are typical of that new breed.

    Whomever the Phillies hire, only one thing is certain: If he doesn't get the Phillies to the playoffs - and soon - he too will find himself outside in a storm, clutching a kite string, wondering when the lightning will strike.
     
  5. Svpernaut

    Svpernaut Contributing Member

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    Bring it on Gerry! I hope Biggio hits another dinger off of Wagner just to prove that Drayton made the right decision to keep him around.
     
  6. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    Hunsicker is the an who built this team. If we could get him back I would in a heart beat.
     
  7. Svpernaut

    Svpernaut Contributing Member

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    He is also the one who took years to bring up our rookies. He was a genius at mid-season trades, but he was horrible with the farm system. Purpura on the other hand was the director of our farm system so knows the kids better then anyone else.
     
  8. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    You could say Oswalt, Qualls, Ensberg, Lane, Berkman, Lidge, Burke and Bruntlett were more a product of Pupurra's scouting (director of the farm system) than Gerry's general managing. In fact, if it was up to only Gerry, Oswalt would have 1-2 years LESS experience right now... since he didn't support his rapid rise up to AA until Nolan Ryan had to convince him.

    Also, Pettite/Clemens coming here probably had more to do with Houston and Drayton than it did Gerry being the lead negotiator or idea-innovator.

    Also, Drayton's the one who approved/demanded the contract extensions of Bagwell, Biggio, Berkman, Oswalt.

    So... after its all said and done, Gerry's "team" is Willy T, Luke Scott, Jose Vizcaino, Brad Ausmus (who he had traded away only to have it bite us in the ass), Dan Wheeler, Mike Lamb, Brandon Backe, Adam Everett, and Russ Springer. Sure there are some valuable parts thanks to the trades (Wheeler, Backe, Everett), but the vast majority of his impact on this franchise left as free agents (Randy Johnson, Moises Alou, Carlos Beltran).
     
  9. Major

    Major Member

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    Ummm, Oswalt, Berkman, Redding, Wade Miller, Lidge, etc? None of these guys spent "too long" in the farm system. Who exactly, besides Lane, did so? And who on the previous teams would you have benched for Lane?
     
  10. Major

    Major Member

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    Given that all owners approve major contracts and major acquisitions, and all teams have directors of scouting, by this standard, no GM is worth anything.
     
  11. Buck Turgidson

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    After he left the GM post of the Astros, I was 100% guaranteed, in print, by no less of an authority than Richard Justice, that Gerry Hunsicker would have another GM position by December 2004. So I'm pretty sure he's unavailable for the Phillies job.
     
  12. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    :D

    yeah..but kent shouldn't be playing.

    wait, yes he should.

    wait...no....wait...yeah...he should.

    RIP Astros 2005.
     
  13. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    My post was not meant to say that Gerry was not worth anything... it was refuting the fact that the 2005 Astros are "his team" and "his team only", despite him not being here.

    Major League GM's need to be judged by off-season moves (free agent signings), and mid-season trades. I leave draft picks to the scouting and owner, and contracts to the GM and owner (but in the Astros case, we know its the owner).

    Gerry was the best at getting that mid-season trade/off-season acquisition that didn't seem like much... but always made a difference. Truby for Blum, Blum for Backe. Hidalgo for Wheeler. Everett for Everett. He also was probably the best at pulling off the blockbuster... Randy Johnson, Carlos Beltran.

    But, as far as the CURRENT makeup of this team... which is pretty much home-grown talent, and aging veterans that were either signed before he came here, or were lured here more by the owner (Pettite/Clemens)... I have to stand by my original post.
     
  14. Svpernaut

    Svpernaut Contributing Member

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    Just as the man said... Hunsicker is a great GM, but the current make up of this team was due to the farm system (which was run by Purpura) and the owner.
     
  15. Major

    Major Member

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    Hunsicker did two things phenomenally well:

    1. Knowing how much/little to trade. In the late 90's, he could have traded people like Oswalt, Berkman, etc to help win then. They were just prospects like any number of the other prospects on the team. He made relatively few "bad" trades of that nature. He's also responsible for us having players like Taveras, Qualls, Wheeler, Backe, etc through trades he made in the last year or two. Simiarly, he didn't trade people like Ensberg, Lane, Burke, etc when they didn't have positions.

    2. Managing salaries. What Hunsicker was ridiculously good at was managing the salaries on the team and keeping the team super-competitive while keeping the budget under control. He didn't make any bad long-term signings and didn't hamper the future growth of the team.

    He gets enormous credit for what this team now is. All the young players on it could have been gone had he traded them for veterans when needed in the past (and as many people advocated mid-season this year to get people like Griffey). Outside of the rookies, he was involved in negotiating the salaries for every one of these players, no matter how involved Drayton might have been. Purpura gets a lot of credit, but it's primarily for trusting the next generation and not screwing up what Hunsicker put together previously.
     
  16. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    You can't look at it only one way... Hunsicker is not god, and Hunsicker was not terrible... he was somewhere in between (closer to the god, obviously).

    Sure, I'll give him credit for NOT trading guys like Oswalt, Berkman, Lidge, etc.... but then, who do I give credit to for drafting those guys in the first place? Puppura directed the scouting, and he constantly gave the club the info on the minor league status. Maybe it was Tim who convinced Gerry NOT to trade them... who knows... I'm just saying to be rational when dishing out the credit.

    Also, I do agree... Hunsicker was a wiz at operating this team based on its salary constraints. In fact, I think it made him a BETTER GM to have a little leash, because he couldn't just go after any player he wanted... he had to be ultra selective. This is the same problem that befell Bob Hart (Rangers ex-GM) and will soon hamper Omar Minaya.... those guys were great when they had to build teams based on smaller deals and player development, but when they were given free reign to spend whatever they want... all they made were high priced duds.

    So, if Gerry were to go to the higher payrolled Phillies... I would hope he kept some of the same mid-market techniques for his success... cause if he starts spending big-time (ie - resinging Wagner, overpaying for a over the hill starter), he could suffer a similiar fate.
     
  17. Major

    Major Member

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    Teams are the result of decisions made over the previous 10 years or so. I'm just saying that everything about this team has Hunsicker's stamp on it. Were there other people involved? Of course there were - all teams are building through a strong scouting department, a committed owner, all the other people in the process. That said, the GM's job is ultimately to build a team, and the personnel on it across the board are the result of the GM's decisions, good or bad. The majority of this team was built in Hunsicker's tenure - how he can not get a vast amount of credit is beyond me. I agree that Purpura and other people deserve credit as well, but if you had to name one person that built this team more than any other, it would be Hunsicker. That's all I'm really saying.
     

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