Mariners Insider

Reports: Eric Wedge will be Mariners new manager

Post by Ryan Divish on Oct. 15, 2010 at 2:10 pm with 17 Comments »
October 15, 2010 4:09 pm
AP photo

Former Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge will be announced as the new manager of the Seattle Mariners, according to multiple reports.

A source in the Mariners organization said an official announcement might not come till next week. Teams must receive permission from commissioner Bud Selig to make major announcements during the postseason.

Reports earlier today said that candidates Bobby Valentine and John Gibbons had been notified by the Mariners that they would not be receiving the job.

Wedge, 42, managed the Indians from 2003 to 2009, compiling a 561-573 record.

In 2007, the Indians went 96-66, won the American League Central, beat the Yankees 3-1 in the ALDS and were one game away from beating the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS to go to the World Series. Wedge was named AL manager of the year that season.

Expectations were high for the Indians for the following season. They had CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Jake Westbrook and Fausto Carmona in the rotation, and Grady Sizemore, Victor Martinez, Travis Hafner, Casey Blake, Ryan Garko and Jhonny Peralta in the lineup.

But the team crumpled under expectations and lack of production. Westbrook and Hafner got hurt and missed most of the season, Martinez also missed several games with elbow problems, Sabathia started off slowly and then was eventually traded, as was Blake and closer Joe Borowski.

In 2009, they got off to another slow start with Hafner, Sizemore and Asdrubal Cabrera spending time on the DL. And they never recovered. Lee, who wasn’t sharp early in the season, was traded at the deadline, as was Martinez, and the losses piled up. On Sept. 29 of that season, the team announced Wedge wouldn’t return.

Wedge was catcher for Wichita State, helping lead the Shockers to the College World Series title in 1989, hitting .380 and earning All-American honors.

He was drafted in the third round of the 1989 draft by the Boston Red Sox. He made his major league debut in 1991. In 1992, he played 27 games for the Red Sox. Following that season, Wedge was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the expansion draft, appearing in nine games for the Rockies in the 1993 season. He played nine seasons professionally and appeared in 39 major league games, hitting .233 (20-for-86) with two doubles, five homers and 12 RBI

Wedge began his managerial career in 1998 for Class A Columbus and worked his way up the ranks taking over the Indians managerial job before the 2003 season. At 35 years and 64 days old, he became the team’s youngest manager since Lou Boudreau was  a player/manager at age 24 in 1942.

Wedge has ties to the current Mariners organization. Seattle interim pitching coach Carl Willis was Wedge’s pitching coach during his tenure in Cleveland.

Perhaps the other more infamous link to the Cleveland days is outfielder/DH Milton Bradley. Wedge managed Bradley for the 2003 season and part way into spring training of 2004. It was an uneasy relationship at best.

Their personalities clashed.  In 2003, Bradley was talented, but perhaps even more volatile than today. The two had minor disagreements throughout the season.  In spring training of 2004, after Bradley had vowed to change his ways, Wedge benched Bradley in an exhibition game after failing to run out a pop fly that dropped for a hit. There was a heated exchange and Bradley was banned from the spring training complex and the Indians traded him a few days later for current center fielder Franklin Gutierrez.

And of course, there was the fact that Bradley wore a t-shirt around the clubhouse saying, $%^& Eric Wedge.

Wedge does not have a flashy personality. It’s been labeled a “quiet intensity.” It was one of the criticisms fans had about in him Cleveland.

“He’s a blue-collar worker, a hard-nosed guy, extremely honest and consistent,” GM Mark Shapiro said after Wedge was fired. “This is an entertainment business and maybe he wasn’t flamboyant enough. Fans want to feel the emotion and Eric, to protect the players, didn’t do that.”

Wedge has been labeled a players manager, who expects a lot from his players, but will fiercely protect them from criticism.

Even after Wedge was fired in Cleveland, he wouldn’t lay blame at a reduced payroll, trades, injuries or underachieving players, saying:

”It’s my job to go out there and win ballgames,” he said. ”There’s not an asterisk next to it that says only if you have this, that or the other.

”I’m a big believer in being accountable for what you do. I preach it to the players. I preach it to people around me. And that’s the way I live. I take responsibility for this.”

”How our players play, how they act, the way they represent the Cleveland Indians, the way we play the game,” Wedge said. ”You always hear me talking about respecting the game and being a good teammate.

”They’re the two most important things that you can do in this game, and then you have to go out there and play well.”

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Leave a comment Comments → 17
  1. That kind of pitching,I would of looked like Bobby Cox also!
    Should of picked up,Valentine!

  2. brigadeer says:

    But the team crumpled under expectations and lack of production

    That seems to be the hallmark to choose a manager. This year the Mariners crumpled under expectations and lack of production. The 2 stooges must like that scenario. Joy of joys, more bobblehead giveaways and triple digit losses. How many years do they think we are going to put up with it?

  3. Shattah206 says:

    Yeah, what he (brigadeer) said — is this supposed to be an improvement? . . . and is that the happiest picture you can find of the guy?

    I’m not feelin’ it so far . . .

  4. footballscaa says:

    Valentine must have wanted to actually have some control over whos playing on his team. I don’t think Lincoln and Armstrong have any intention of giving the manager much of a say in what happens with the team.

  5. Kevindot1 says:

    I am not feeling this AT ALL! Sure, he had one successful season, but overall he is an under .500 manager, also labeled a “players manager.” Oy, that hasn’t worked out well in the past. And yeah, I have a feeling he will not be a good fit for this team, our players, this city, and our organization. Unless of course the goal of the organization is to continue to me mediocre. When this manager inevitably gets fired, kick Jack Z, Howard Lincoln, and Chuck Armstrong out the door with him. We could have had Bobby Valentine, a proven MLB winner. He could have been the next Lou Peniella in Seattle. Nope, our thrifty team chose another losing record manager who will last no more than two years. I do not see me going to any M’s games at all next year, or even probably the years after that. This team really needs to prove something to the fan base and get back the credibility it once had a long long time ago.

  6. Kevindot1 says:

    Excuse me, two successful seasons, four losing seasons, and one .500 season. Add that up and it looks pretty mediocre. Should fit right in with Seattle’s losing ways.

  7. footballscaa says:

    I just renewed my Rainiers tickets. At the very least, I have a new stadium to look forward to.

  8. The Good news is this would seem to mean Uncle Milty is gone.

    Ryan, what’s your honest opinion on this choice?

  9. comment_tayter says:

    Great…another quiet manager like Melvin. And with an overall losing record with the Indians, in spite of one good year…

    Sigh.

    OK. I’ll believe in “quiet intensity” when I see what the w/l record ismthis time next year.

  10. nonstopjoe says:

    The simplest tool known to man is a

  11. Commandtiger says:

    They don’t need new Management they need better players, waste to much money on their contracts Pay them like they did in the 1950′s and when they get better raise the salary..Pay for performance not just the name… Better yet hire the Aurburn little league players they play better ball. or sell them to Oklahoma…..

  12. TacomaRick says:

    Another Yes man…Great!!!! I am shocked…with Jacks reputation and perhaps job on the line based off who he hires and what the M’s do, you go with Wedge? Valentime would have brought fire and excitement…..this sucks…he will be gone in 2 years

  13. gigahertz says:

    And … here we go again.

  14. Ok! It’s obivious with the current owner and Team management that they have no desires to put a winning team on the field by this hiring. Actually It showed with the Griffey experment, Were they figure he alone would fill the stadium. It’s time for the league do what they did the Reds or the Expose. I know they can do the M’s like they did the Seahawks which was place them in a division on looser then they may make it
    . Unless they play the Dodgers or I get free tickets I will not waste my money..Or did the team promiss Sweet Lou that his legacy is safe with them by not trying to do better than winning 116 and actually winning a world series

  15. Pray4Peace says:

    There went any hope of me ever rooting for this team again. Another puppet for Zippy to manipulate and throw under the train when these losers fail yet again.

  16. zombiehooliganfc says:

    I am out. No more M’s games until they get sold or actually start winning…this is lame.

  17. oldiecoach says:

    “uninspiring,” as Scott Miller of CBSSPORTLINE termed it!!!
    I agree!
    The only hope is that Grady Sizemore is a Wedge “fan,” and decides to come home. Put him in LF….ditch Saunders.

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