After pondering the Seattle Mariners two-hit loss a night earlier, manager Eric Wedge called a team meeting tonight at 4 p.m., and when players emerged 22 minutes later they certainly understood what he expected of them.
“ Last night was unacceptable. Your bad can only be so bad, and we were beyond that. I told them what should be important to them, and what shouldn’t be,” Wedge said.
“Whether you’re a young player or an older veteran, a guy playing every day or a reserve, we’re going to find out who wants to be part of this. You play as if every game was the last one – and some of these guys should be playing as if it could be their last game.”
Wedge didn’t publicly call anyone out, but made it clear he expected much more from his team than he’s seen in this home stand.
“I didn’t drag my butt all the way out here to fail. We will get it done. We will become a championship team,” Wedge said. “When we get to the point where we’re winning more games than we lose, the fans will support us and, economically, we’ll be able to keep the players we want. We won’t have to blow it up like we did in Cleveland.
“The bottom line? What we do here is important. If this isn’t one of the three most important things in your life, you should be doing something else.”
A few Mariners – shortstop Brendan Ryan, C Jesus Montero – will be sitting tonight while anoher, OF Michael Saunders, is still battling flu-like symptoms. He could play late in the game, Wedge said, and is expected to start tomorrow.
Here’s the lineup vs. Boston RHP Josh Beckett:
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Casper Wells CF
Kyle Seager 3B
John Jaso DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Dustin Ackley 2B
Miguel Olivo C
Chone Figgins LF
Munenori Kawasaki SS
Erasmo Ramirez RHP