HOUSTON (AP) -Ed Wade was hired Thursday as general manager of the Houston Astros, two years after the Philadelphia Phillies fired him following eight seasons without a playoff appearance.
The 51-year-old, who worked in public relations for the Astros early in a career that began in 1977, was heavily criticized in Philadelphia for his reluctance to make significant moves before the trade deadline and for giving big-money, long-term contracts to players who underachieved.
He replaced Lee Thomas in 1998 after serving as his assistant for eight years. He had two years remaining on his contract when he was let go.
Wade inherited a Phillies team that had finished last two straight years and had posted losing records in 10 of 11 seasons. He fired Terry Francona after the 2000 season, hired Larry Bowa and rebuilt the team around young stars such as Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell and Jimmy Rollins.
Francona won a World Series with Boston in 2004, the same year Wade fired Bowa and replaced him with Charlie Manuel, another move that was criticized.
Houston fired GM Tim Purpura and manager Phil Garner on Aug. 27. Bench coach Cecil Cooper became interim manager, and team president Tal Smith served as interim GM.
The Astros, who played in their first World Series two years ago, entered Thursday tied for last in the NL Central at 66-86. a half-game ahead of Florida for worst record in the NL.
Others who interviewed included former Dodgers general manager Dan Evans, former Astros general manager Bob Watson and Philadelphia assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

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