Ed Wade does not owe me an apology.

Ed Wade does not owe me an apology.

I absolutely hate to have to go back to this, because it is my desire to move on from this subject, for good. But now that my name has been brought up specifically in an SI.com article, I need to again set the record straight.

Ed Wade does not owe me an apology, because Ed Wade never lied to me. Let me say it again — Ed Wade has never lied to me.

Ever.

I have been working with him for a year and a half. I have had many candid conversations with him over time and the one thing he guaranteed me is that if I ever approached him with something regarding rumors — as long as they weren’t trade rumors, because it’s against the rules for teams to comment on players under contract other teams — if I was headed in the right direction, he would never flat out tell me I was wrong.

That doesn’t mean he’d help me, or give me any details, but he would not lie to me. And he hasn’t.

I told you that eventually I would have more on the timeline detailing the events that occurred from the time that I last talked to Ed about Pudge Rodriguez to the day that the news broke that they signed him.

So here it is.

The Astros had a night game last Friday, March 13, and that afternoon, I dropped by Ed’s office and asked him if he had a few minutes to answer some questions for a couple of features I was working on. At the end of the meeting, I asked again about Pudge, because I kept hearing his name tied to the Astros.

Ed, as you all know by now, vehemently denied that he was talking to Pudge’s agent, Scott Boras, about the free agent catcher. He was telling the truth. He had not had a conversation with Boras regarding Pudge prior to my meeting with Ed, unless you count the preliminary exchange the two had the last week of January.

(On Jan. 29, I asked Ed if he had interest in Pudge. Here is his quote, taken right from the story I posted that day: “At this point, nothing is going to fit for us. I got a sense they’ve plotted a certain floor with regard with what they want contractually. We’re not going to be able to meet those demands.” This is an important piece of the puzzle, because as you can see, I asked Ed about Pudge and Ed was honest, telling me that he had indeed talked to Team Pudge.)

Back to last Friday.

At some point, before the game, Wade met with his staff and became increasingly more worried about the catching situation. I honestly don’t know what freaked him out more, the quality of the catching throughout the spring or the team’s horrendous record. Heck, maybe after he heard himself railing about Pudge during his conversation with me he wondered if he really felt that way. I don’t know. All I do know is he changed his mind. He called Boras that night and left him a message. Then he called Drayton.

Boras, apparently unbeknownst to Wade, had actually already reached out to Drayton a day earlier and given him the “you really need Pudge, he really wants to be in Houston” speech to the Astros owner.

Meanwhile, Pudge was sending text messages to one Astros player, expressing his desire to be with the Astros. He talked publicly about being willing to change positions. He did not want to be a backup. Playing time was a priority. It smacked of desperation.

Time to pounce.

Ed talked to Boras after Friday night’s game. Ed made an offer. Boras didn’t think it was enough, but he said he’d get back to him.

The next day, Lou Palmisano, the Astros’ Rule 5 catching candidate, made two throws to second base on steal attempts that were anything but strong, putting it mildly. I thought, “Uh oh.”

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one.

Ed and Boras didn’t talk again until Monday. They went back and forth, and a deal was reached.

That’s it.

This story is pretty simple. Wade and Boras talked in late January, and they talked again last Friday. There were no conversations in between. Ed changed his mind about Pudge, Drayton changed his mind about the unmovable payroll structure and Pudge signed a contract.

This is the business of baseball. Things change every single day.

When I heard the news that the Astros signed Pudge, I never thought to myself, “I can’t believe Ed lied to me.” My initial reaction was, they waited him out and they got him on the cheap, because he wants to be an every day player.

Then I thought, this is going to look really, really bad to the public. I was right on both fronts.

One more thing. Several web sites are quoting my blog entry regarding Ed’s reaction to my question about Pudge during my meeting with him last Friday. But they only included part of the paragraph. Here is the whole thing:

“After checking with Ed Wade yet again today, I can assure you the Astros are not pursuing him. And judging from the irritated look on his face, I can also assure you I won’t be asking him about Pudge again anytime soon. At least not for two weeks. Or maybe 10 days. At the very least, I’ll wait a week.”

That was a tongue-in-cheek, humorous way of poking fun at myself for getting on Ed’s nerves with my incessant questions about Pudge. The last part was my way of saying this may be over, but it’s probably not really over.

The dig at myself was taken the wrong way, and I apologize to you and to Ed.

That’s my story. I stand by everything I have written and said over the last month and I have no regrets expect for one. I wish I had asked Ed about Pudge on Saturday at noon instead of Friday at 3.

In this game, it’s all about timing.

28 Comments

I don’t think any real Astros fans ever thought you lied. Plus intelligible people know that baseball is a business as much as a restaurant or a convenience store, and sometimes it’s best to announce things when they’re a sure thing rather than giving possible status updates every 5 minutes. Circuit City would probably lost quite a few sales if they spent the last 3 months leading up to their closing announcing “We’re doing bad. We may be closing soon.” Yeah, it was bad timing, but who can change the past?

On a different note, I hate that this SI thing made itself important enough to get in the way of the whole memory lane thing. Can’t wait for the next post!

you know she’s being serious when a picture of lance berkman being silly doesn’t show up. :(

Alyson, you have a wonderful style of reporting and have become one of my favorites because of your honesty and passion. Keep on going, you are great

Alyson, you and Wade have NOTHING to apologize for. The idiots that are claiming people were lying about this are the same fools who demanded Sabathia signings and trading away Carlos Lee; idiots who know nothing about baseball and who simply have foolish, knee-jerk reactions to everything.

You’re a great writer and shouldn’t have to apologize or backtrack at all. Real fans respect you; you get a lot more love on the Astros’ message board than any of the Chronicle writers, even Justice, you might want to mention that to him some day! :)

“became increasingly more worried”

I’ve never seen syntax like that, but I think when referencing the current catching situation, it is completely acceptable.

I’m angry with you Ms Footer! You owe some serious time to the batting cage. Get to work on your timeing!

That sucks that you have to go through all that to explain yourself. Honestly anyone who spends more than five minutes to pay attention to your initial explanation and has a few brain cells to rub together understands what you said the first time. But I guess thats asking too much for the masses, and in this case the national media.

So when is Pudge going to join the club? At what point does that become a story? Did Boras tell him to wait a few weeks because he only got 1.5 plus incentives? ;)

Okay, I am calling it, the Astros are going to win today Friday 3/20/09. I don’t even know who is pitching , but they are so due. In fact I will go out on a limb and say the will win by more than one run. So you can tell everyone you heard it here first, I am officially breaking the voodoo hex on them.

Alyson, do you remember a couple of occasions over the past two years in which some middle-aged broad randomly passed by the broadcast booth (in the Crawford Boxes at the time) and hollered, “Alyson, you ROCK!!”

That was me.

You still rock. I count as friends many fans of other NL teams, and if they have occasion to read your work, they are always impressed with your perspective, ethic, and style. As Mary Schmich alluded, don’t we wish we could ignore the bad things said about us and embrace the good? Best of luck this year in all your pursuits!

The problem here doesn’t lie with you, Alyson! I will say what you are not able to say! The problem is with our GM, Ed Wade! He really should have worked for Dick Cheney in the Bush White House……..Wade would have been perfect for that job………very secretive, always being carefull to have a way out for what he says…….why does everything have to be such a mystery? In many cases, if Ed wanted to be forthcoming, he could simply answer your question by saying that a certain option remains open and leave it at that……..period! You get your story and Wade leaves his options open………what a simple solution! I have little respect for Wade, the decisions he makes without being informed, and especially the final product that he has put together after nearly 2 years on the job! Wade gets a lot of credit for his time in Philadelphia……….even though he never produced a winner there in 8 years…..okay, the Phillies won after he left……..if Wade did such a great job, why was he fired? I will tell you why! It wasn’t Wade that developed that team……..other key people found those great players………one person in particular! Not Wade! The owners of the Phillies knew who deserved the credit………and who didn’t……..Wade didn’t, still could’nt put together a winner in 8 years……! Why did Drayton assume that he knew Wade better than the owners who Wade worked for those 8 years? Beats me! Now, the Astros fans have to suffer!

Jon Heyman? I put more faith into your reporting than I do Heyman’s reporting. He’s good for a few good rumors here and there!

Thanks all. The reason I wrote this is because I have to set the record straight, for the sake of the future. There are going to be many more rumors I’m going to have to shoot down over time, and I’d hate for every denial from the club to sound like a big lie.

And thejubbies, I totally agree. I’m only keep this blog up for a few hours, and then I’ll post round two of the trip down memory lane.

i agree. get back to the batting cages…

Now would you please ask Ed about Josh Bard?

I don’t tend to read Jon Heyman for this very reason. His articles are inaccurate and a lot of times he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Ed Wade was dealing with Scott Boras here and saying your interested in one of Boras’s clients is almost certainly a kiss of death for your budget. For the price Boras was asking I’m sure Ed Wade and the Astros weren’t initially interested.

Keep on rocking Alyson! Now maybe we can ALL move on….So let’s see, looking on the positive side of things, the Astros have another chance today to get their second win! Today’s gotta be the day, everybody cross their fingers! Maybe Pudge will dress out for the game and help?

Looking forward to more of those pics, Alyson. The first bunch were great.

Like I said in a previous comment Ms Footer, ?there ain?t no sweat?. We know you didn?t lie. No true Astros fans who read your blogs on a daily basis is holding this Pudge episode against you. Like you said it?s all about timing, and as of Friday afternoon Pudge was NOT on Wade?s to do list. It?s a shame SI is trying to blow this out of proportion. How come Boras didn?t get in touch with Wade at the same time he was trying to reach McLane on Thursday? It sounds a little sneaky to me.
Anyhow, you?re doing a good job Ms Footer, and I really enjoy reading your articles.

Somebody reads SI???? I thought that was a once a year thing where you looked at the pictures??? As for lying…who cares…happens everyday in corporate America…my only complaint would be if you were lying in your reporting of their lying…and I’ve seen no evidence of lying by either party, except for maybe the author of the SI piece, who obviously must have taken some liberties with quotes. Hmmm….is that lying??? Keep up the good work Alyson and for God’s Sake…get a gallery showing somewhere for them pics!!

this post smacks of kiss up to me.

If you are referring to my post directly above yours…no kiss up involved. I happen to sincerely believe that hundreds, if not thousands, of candid shots taken by a reporter on the inside of the operations of a MLB team would be a wonderful thing to see in a gallery setting and I, for one, would pay money to see it. So keep smacking sunny753…

Sorry, I still think Wade’s a weasel.

Actually, I was referring to the main post, not yours. I understand her job and her need to have a good relationship with the GM, so if this is what it takes, then so be it. But it still smacks of kissing up.

I understand your point, but it sounded like she was more concerned with responding to the SI.com article and letting her readers here know the full story. I think she reports truthfully, based on what she observes and hears…I wish more reporters would do so.

Your explanation wasn’t needed, it seems you wrote it in an effort to placate Ed Wade.

Anyone who reads your columns and articles regularly would have recognized your “two weeks… maybe ten days… at least one week” ending as being a humorous way of saying that no matter how final this story was, you’d still be questioning it. I read astros.com every day – keep doing what you do.

any chance you can “get on ed’s nerves” about some pitching, or maybe on drayton’s nerves about stealing my money for season tickets this year. frankly drayton owes me at the very least an appology! more realistically he owes me money! loyal season ticket holders got shafted! i ponyed up my hard earned cash…again! with all the deals out there to be had…he does nothing. well thats not exactly right, more like he downgraded the team, at atleast 2 spots. happy trails mark and ty! or as drayton would put it, thanks for the really nice job you did keeping us relevant so i could continue to sell tickets in ’08, now HIT THE TRAIL! and what’s up with roy, he’s got a bulldozer now he wants help in the rotation too!!! thanks roy for trying put to your money where your mouth is! looks like drayton is putting his money, as well as mine in his mattress! well what ever he has left after overpaying carlos “el tortuga” again this year. sure wish i could find a job where i could be pretty good at one thing but get paid like i was really good at 5 things! does carlos wear #45 to signify the 45% effort he gives? when was the last time you thought…wow! nice effort carlos! that’s one of those sayings that may show up in print if you had one million monkeys typing on one million typewriters for one million years. of course by then the monkeys would have evolved to the point to realize that those words just don’t go together! end of rant…for now… thanks for the all the photos!

Jon Heyman seems to have nothing but disdain for anything involving the Astros or Ed Wade. If he isn’t ignoring the team, he is close to sladerous about it. I quit reading what he writes years ago.

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