Multiple sources are reporting that Eric Wedge will be the next Seattle Mariner manager. So who is Eric Wedge? And will the Mariners play Wedgie ball?
He is by all accounts a hard worker, demanding, not media friendly, and in 2004 while managing Cleveland, his personality collided with Milton Bradley, then with the Indians, during spring training, so Bradley got the atomic wedgie and was traded to the Dodgers for Franklin Gutierrez. It all seems so incestuous, don’t you think. Now that Wedge is the Mariner manager, Bradley may want another ticket out of town. No word from Gutierrez on any travel plans.
His demanding way has alienated more than one player, so the Mariners still on the roster when the season begins will have to be hard workers and focused. Another former player on the Indians said Wedge took the joy out of playing. He also got the atomic wedgie and was traded.
Wedge will be the sixth manager since 2007, not a good sign. Going backward they were Daren Brown, Don Wakamatsu, Jim Riggleman, John McLaren, and finally another former Cleveland Indians manager, Mike Hargrove. Getting another Cleveland manager seems ominous.
The Mariners were looking for a disciplinarian and they got him; but when Wedge fails, as all managers do, the Mariners will look for a player’s manager. Teams do this a lot, getting a manager with a personality opposite of the one who was fired. And the world goes round and round.
For the record the facts are these. Wedge, 42, was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and graduated from Wichita State, a college baseball powerhouse. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the third round in 1989.
As a player he had one at bat for the Sox in 1991 and got a single. A designated hitter and catcher in 1992, he played 27 games, hitting .250 (17-68) with 5 homers and 11 rbi’s. He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 48th round of the expansion draft, plating in 9 games with the Rockies, going 2-11. The next season, his last, he was back with Boston, going 0-7. He finished his career with a .233 average.
He managed the Cleveland Indians for seven years. His first three seasons, 2003 to 2005, the team improved each season, going 68-94, 80-82, and 93-69, second in the Central Division. His promising career took a set back in 2006 when the Indians finished below .500 at 78-84. But 2007 Eric was named American League manager of the year as he took the Indians to first place with a 96-66 record. Once again they dropped, to 81-81 in 2008 and 65-97 in 2009. His record was 561-573, a .495 winning percentage.
So my Mariner mates, all we can do is hope for the best. Avast!!!