Jackson, Watson, Among Candidates For Vacant Astros GM Job

By Jose De Jesus Ortiz
Updated: September 7, 2007

HOUSTON — Muzzy Jackson (left) and Ed Wade have done their research, and they would love the opportunity to build on a strong nucleus that includes Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee, Hunter Pence and Brad Lidge.

More than three dozen applicants from throughout Major League Baseball contacted Astros owner Drayton McLane or president of baseball operations Tal Smith in hopes of landing an interview for the team’s vacant general manager’s job.

After sifting through the resumes, cover letters and even recommendations from third parties, the Astros began addressing the position Wednesday by interviewing Jackson, Wade and former Montreal Expos general manager Jim Beattie.

McLane, Smith and former president of business operations Bob McClaren sat in on all three interviews. Three more candidates will interview today, including Phillies assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. Former Astros general manager Bob Watson also will interview for the post, as will current assistant Astros GMs Ricky Bennett and David Gottfried.

“All were sharp,” said McLane, who decided to divulge the candidates to the media so Astros fans would be kept in the loop on the process.

It’s quite clear the Astros’ GM job, which became vacant when Tim Purpura was fired on Aug. 27, is a coveted one.

“As a young GM, I would love the opportunity to be in a situation where you have an owner like Drayton McLane, who’s committed to winning not only with words but with actions and providing you the resources to do that,” said Jackson, a special assistant to the general manager with the Kansas City Royals.

“To come into Houston, where you have a solid core group of players … it’s exciting to think what you can do with that and how quickly you should be able to turn it around and turn it back into the winning tradition that they’ve had here the last few years.

“That opportunity in itself is just tremendous. I’m just thankful to come here and talk about the position.”

Wade, who currently serves as a scout for the San Diego Padres, was the general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.