Eric Wedge is Leaving

Dave · September 27, 2013 at 5:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Mariners just announced that Eric Wedge won’t be back next year. The way they phrased it was designed to make it sound like it was his decision to not return, so that’s how this story is going to be spun. In reality, Wedge made it very clear a few days ago that he thought he deserved to be retained and wanted to continue on, but was unhappy with the way his situation was handled. This may have technically been a “you can’t fire me, I quit” kind of thing, but the way the situation has been handled, it’s not terribly surprising that Wedge felt unwanted.

I’m not going to miss Eric Wedge. I don’t think he was a significant asset, and at times, he was a real problem. Maybe the next guy Jack hires will care more about performance than aggressiveness. Realistically, though, it’s going to be someone already in the organization, since the good outside candidates aren’t going to want to come into this situation. Ted Simmons and Robby Thompson seem like the most likely candidates. I’d imagine this won’t take very long, since it’s going to be a promote-from-within situation.


41 Responses to “Eric Wedge is Leaving”

  1. SonOfZavaras on September 27th, 2013 5:07 pm

    I was of the mind that he might step down voluntarily, so as to give himself a year to deal with medical issues.

    He’s 45ish. Way too young to have those kind of concerns. To me, better for all involved if he doesn’t return.

    I don’t loathe the idea of a Robby Thompson being the skipper. I’d bet a fiver he gets the nod.

    Like Dave, I’d be summarily astounded if there was a hire from outside. Someday, I hope we can get a Manny Acta or a Joe Maddon. But I don’t think 2014 will be that year.

  2. Longgeorge1 on September 27th, 2013 5:14 pm

    I expect that Eric Wedge will be leading a team into the play-offs much like Bob Melvin long before the M’s ever get there. The problem is the people who are hiring the GM, not the lackeys. This team sucked before Wedge, it sucks now and will continue to suck unless the real problem is solved. If the engine in your car is dust you can keep changing tires all you want you still ain’t going anywhere.

  3. MissouriMariner on September 27th, 2013 5:35 pm

    Wedge was terrible and I am glad to see him go…

  4. Slats on September 27th, 2013 5:42 pm

    Howard and Chuck need to leave.

  5. smb on September 27th, 2013 5:44 pm

    Yeah, I’m gonna have to echo the two comments directly above, and add that agains the backdrop of the reality that HoChuck needs to go, jettisoning Wedge just can’t be expected to make a real difference. We have no indication that the team is either interested or aware of how to find a coach who knows how to make the right kinds of strategic decisions, both with the lineup and bullpen, and with in-game strategy.

  6. qwerty on September 27th, 2013 5:46 pm

    By my count, that’s 3 M’s managers who were undercut by the FO. (Hargrove, Wakamatsu, Wedge). Not a fan of Wedge, but it still leaves the same questions about the FO.

  7. jsa on September 27th, 2013 5:50 pm

    Wedge hasn’t been horrible as a manager.

    His record, on the other hand has not been anything to brag about, but then no worse than anyone who proceeded him.

    He didn’t have the players in open revolt, (which probably won’t happen again till Ichiro decides to return and retire).

    I don’t see much to cheer about with either of the in-house replacements either.

  8. stevemotivateir on September 27th, 2013 6:08 pm

    ^Right. Good luck selling that to anyone who actually watched him.

  9. Sports on a Shtick on September 27th, 2013 6:26 pm

    Zduriencik: “This was his decision. I was looking forward to having Eric back.”

    Wedge: “It just got to point it was painfully obviously to me I just wasn’t going to be able to move forward with this organization.”

    I’m inclined to believe Jack is lying. Wedge may not be a great manager but the guy has integrity.

  10. Westside guy on September 27th, 2013 6:30 pm

    Yeah, no one is going to believe Zduriencik at this point. Over the past few weeks I’ve come to actively dislike him as a person – I feel he has absolutely no integrity.

    I thought Thompson, during his short stint, managed like Eric Wedge if Wedge had even less capacity for original thought. So of course he’ll get the nod.

    What a mess. What a total, absolute mess.

  11. MrZDevotee on September 27th, 2013 6:45 pm

    I could see an outside guy, but only a “personal friend” of Z’s, who’s coming here specifically to help save his job… And perhaps such a search by Z was what left Wedge hanging out there, with no idea what to expect. Maybe telling everyone NOW that he’s not coming back means he found someone?

    (Okay, that was my personal fantasy…)

    I definitely agree that a top tier manager, seeking a long term situation, isn’t gonna wanna plug his nose and leap into this quagmire with both feet.

    But I also don’t think “from within” gets the job done. Or warrants keeping Jack around. I think the fact that he did get another year is hinged on him selling the FO to go all in and make this thing into a winner. They probably got excited about the “almost”-ness of Hamilton and Upton, and after “striking out” they all agreed they could go more “all-in” in 2014.

    Of course, much like free agents, just because we want someone better doesn’t mean we won’t end up with someone from within the organization.

    I have nothing against Wedge personally, and I wish him well. But when the manager’s mistakes are sometimes more troublesome than the mistake-prone youngsters dependent upon his leadership– that’s a problem for a rebuilding team.

    And there’s no denying (at least it seemed undeniable, bias motivation?) the team played better for an interim manager this season than for Wedge.

  12. djw on September 27th, 2013 6:53 pm

    Wedge hasn’t been horrible as a manager.

    Huh. As Dave has effectively argued, he’s obviously and clearly not the primary problem here. But what, exactly, are your standards for “not horrible” and what has Mr. Wedge done to meet them? Perhaps I lack imagination, but I’m not sure how I’d go about trying to argue such a position were I assigned that side in a debate, and I can’t fathom why anyone would sign up for that side voluntarily.

  13. MissouriMariner on September 27th, 2013 7:12 pm

    Wedge HAS been horrible…some folks need to take off their blinders…I understand that the M’s have not had the greatest players but mindlessly playing veterans and insisting on “old school” tactics…he has been awful…

  14. Gritty Veteran Poster on September 27th, 2013 7:16 pm

    Didn’t like Wedge as a manager and I’m not sorry to see him go. But if you’re going fire the guy, just do it. Sounds like he got dicked around and maybe lied to or at the very least not given straight answers. Sounded like he was definitely pissed off.

    Hell, I don’t know what the real story was but it makes the organization look like the raging dumpster fire that it is. Good luck getting good people to come here in any capacity.

  15. seahopp on September 27th, 2013 7:17 pm

    I support Ozzie Guillen as the next manager of the M’s. Jack Z is a lame duck and he’s likely getting canned after next year. I’ll take a year of depression with a little helping of Ozzie on the side to help me through it.

  16. Breadbaker on September 27th, 2013 7:19 pm

    So long as there is no consequence for Chuck and Howard for not winning there will be no change in this ballclub except on a random basis (see 2007/2009).

    The team “makes money” because it is close to impossible to lose money in this particular economic environment of MLB. And it’s my strong impression that this, and this alone, is what Chuck and Howard are judged on. That the Mariners could sell a million and a half more tickets, could revitalize the area around the stadium for 81 dates a year, and could matter more than the Seahawks, Huskies and Sounders by winning a World Series, is not the standard by which they are judged. Rather, it’s like someone sticks his life savings in a bank account that makes .01% interest and then is pleased because his taxes are low.

  17. qwerty on September 27th, 2013 7:37 pm

    “this was Eric’s decision”. Translation: we were going to fire him on Oct.2. It was his decision to announce it on Sept. 27.

  18. californiamariner on September 27th, 2013 7:41 pm

    Sadly, Wedge isn’t the problem. Not that he’s good or anything, but give me a good front office and then I’ll worry about the manager.

  19. smb on September 27th, 2013 7:47 pm

    Breadbaker, you nailed it…when mediocrity is considered a triumph because the balance sheet looks good, then apathy can be the only result for those with their eyes all the way open.

  20. evolvingcaveman on September 27th, 2013 7:47 pm

    They were both offered 1year extensions after the 2012 season and Jack Z agreed to his and Wedge didn’t. I’m not sure I blame Jack more then the guys at the top for the mess. Can I hold out any hope whatsoever that we could still attract a big time manager with a guaranteed money type contract? It seems we have enough talent to look attractive to someone for the right dollars.

  21. MrZDevotee on September 27th, 2013 7:48 pm

    “Raging Dumpster Fire”

    I don’t know why, but that assessment just feels right somehow for describing the Mariners. Nicely done.

    Or maybe a grease fire– pouring a little water on it, makes it worse, instead of better. This is gonna take some costly, high tech chemicals to extinguish the flames here.

  22. Steve Nelson on September 27th, 2013 8:24 pm

    Seems to me that Darren Brown is also a strong candidate for next year.


    IMHO – one of the principal reasons – if not the primary reason – Wedge was hired was to shepherd and gudie the development of the young players. Shortcomings in the others aspects of the job could be tolerated if there was ample development of the young players under his tutelage.

    That hasn’t really happened, which brings to the fore two issues, one results based and the other process-based:

    1. That failure leaves little reason to continue with Wedge.

    2. How was that decision reached and where were the errors made.

    As we see, the first issue is being addressed. The second issue is more important. I seriously question whether it is being seriously addressed, because that question can be honestly answered only if the person posing the question is willing to admit that he/she himself/herself is really the root cause.

  23. bookbook on September 27th, 2013 8:35 pm

    Wedge wasn’t good. He isn’t one of the 100 best managers in the world. I can’t really see why we should miss him.

    I continue to believe that, if the Mariners bother to go through the process, they can attract one of the world’s 50 or 60 best baseball managers. Getting into the club of people who have actually managed a major league baseball team is a very big career move (plus they’ll pay more than a million dollars for less than a year in the best city on Earth–it ain’t exactly a hardship gig.)

    This FO will probably just throw the job at Robby Thompson and be done with it, but that’s a shame. He doesn’t strike as one of the 100 best choices, either.

  24. Sports on a Shtick on September 27th, 2013 8:38 pm

    “raging dumpster fire”

    That’s perfect. And by this time next year it will be an indomitable junkyard inferno. That’s the scary part about having Jack on a one-year deal.

  25. davepaisley on September 27th, 2013 8:43 pm

    Wedge was handed a shit sandwich, and to be fair, made not the worst of a bad situation.

    What’s he going to say in public? He had to talk about aggressiveness and other nonsense in generic terms because that’s what managers do in interviews. He can’t say “X couldn’t hit his way out of a wet paper sack on a rainy day in Seattle” so he has to make stuff up.

    Sure he has questionable bullpen matchup skills, but again, given what he’s had to work with, limited options.

    Wedge was the least of the organization’s problems, and the way his demise has been handled is all about the lack of coherence in the organization.

    This is all just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic…

  26. mrakbaseball on September 27th, 2013 8:47 pm

    Ted Simmons is 64, had a heart attack over 20 years ago, I know he’s expressed interest in becoming a manager in the past, but he’ll probably stick to his current position. Robby Thompson seems to be a safe bet.

  27. Hunter S. Thompson on September 27th, 2013 9:08 pm

    Wedge wasn’t a good manager, but this is an ugly situation,Dave talked about how we should keep Wedge because a decent manager wouldn’t come into this situation. Well a not decent manager who was working for the club said fuck it,I’m not sticking around as a lame duck manager, in this work atmosphere.

    What does it say when the person a lot of people wanted fired thinks staying is a bad idea?
    This team and this front office is an absolute joke, at least the Marlins keep it from being the worst in the league.

  28. pgreyy on September 27th, 2013 10:16 pm

    Didn’t like Wedge when he was hired.
    Didn’t like Wedge when he was our manager.
    Doesn’t matter to me how he goes away.

    And I predicted much earlier this year that next year has been a lost cause, no matter what happens in the off-season. (Not looking for credit for that…just saying that I’m neither surprised or bothered that it’s clear to more people that there’s no reasonable expectation of turning things around for next year.)

    The question that remains is: what will remain after the fire? Hopefully, something usable.

  29. Hunter S. Thompson on September 27th, 2013 10:36 pm

    The sad thing is this could be a good off season for the M’s. I don’t thinkit will be but it could be. The M’s have around 50 million waiting to be spent, (LL has a poll open on how to spend the money). $17 a year for Ellsbury, $11 for Timmy, that leaves over 20 mill left to spend, if you give the 14 to Morales or Beltran you have a team in contention. (With some good luck)

    C Z
    1B Smoak
    2b Franklin/Ackely
    SS Miler
    3B Seiger
    LF Ackley/Saunders
    CF Ellsbury
    RF Beltran/Saunders
    DH Beltran/Ibanez/Montero

    SP Hernandes
    SP Kuma
    SP Timmy
    SP Walker
    SP Paxton

    Its hopes and dreams but its doable and only Ellsbury would require a long term commitment.

  30. Woodcutta on September 28th, 2013 1:48 am

    I would find it absolutely hilarious is Wedge complained to the FO that he didn’t have enough of the gritty veterans he apparently can’t get enough of and they said there was no way they were going in that “direction” again.

  31. maqman on September 28th, 2013 3:16 am

    I’m sorry Wedgie had to go but understand the reasoning, Brown or Thompson are not the answer, Simmons might be. It won’t happen but I’d be inclined to bring back Brendan Ryan as the manager, he’s got the tools to do the job, as long as he brings in a good hitting coach and lets him do the job. Jason Giambi wants to manage and is highly thought of in that regard.

  32. ripperlv on September 28th, 2013 4:53 am

    Just another sideshow at the M’s organizational circus.

    Brendan Ryan wasn’t even taken serious as a player, that’s why the Cards unloaded him. Oh well, as good as any other choice.

    If the M’s are going to make a serious run at being a decent team, they have to find a way to get a legit manager. Otherwise it’s time to say “Aloha means goodbye”.

  33. Mariner.lovechild on September 28th, 2013 8:14 am

    I hope he leads a team to the playoffs just to show the haters up. I get that it’s time to try new management, it’s true.

    Just wish the players could have stepped up and played ball. But hey, a good manager inspires good baseball, so, time for a change.

    Good luck Wedge. Sure don’t think Thompson’s any better.

  34. The_Waco_Kid on September 28th, 2013 9:56 am

    Having a lame duck GM and placeholder manager. …next season could really suck.

  35. LongDistance on September 28th, 2013 9:59 am

    Regardless of a few curious decisions he made (OK, more than a few), frankly, can Wedge’s managerial qualities really be judged, fairly, given what he had to work with?

    This has become a Mariner staple. Crap season. Disgusted fan base who didn’t buy into the here’s-your-dingers-you-suckers business model. So: we’ll trot out the fire-the-manager ploy, once again, as a diversionary tactic taking us into the off season.

    At the risk of sounding sarcastic… Boy, I’m sooo satisfied at this news.

    OK, that’s sarcasm.

    As for Wedge, though, in all sincerity… MLB managing is not something he should be considering. Even with a flawless team, the stress will be important. There’s no such thing as a one-shot stroke.

  36. eddie on September 28th, 2013 12:03 pm

    I’m not sure what top line managers people feel they should be getting and won’t because of the Wedge Fiasco, but I’m of the opinion that manager jobs in the major leagues are very scarce and the egos of anybody suited to be a manager are very large to the point that any top flight manager thinks he can turn anything around. If there were top managers available, I think they would jump at the chance to get back to the majors.

    Of course, Howard and Chuck have their own candidates, it worked once (didn’t work twice) three times the charm, Ken Griffey, Jr! If Ken turns it down, the next best solution? Joey Cora.

  37. Paul B on September 28th, 2013 2:55 pm

    Wedge is a terrible judgd of talent. Give him a Jaso or an Iwakuma in March, and he wants nothing to do with them. Even though all of us knew he was being stupid.

  38. Hunter S. Thompson on September 28th, 2013 9:57 pm

    Yes, Wedge is bad, but as more is coming out he is only part of the problem.

    The fact that Wedge wanted to bring in young veterans on multi-year deals (Oh I don’t know maybe Bourn of Swisher)is a point in his favor.

    I never liked Wedge after his dismisal of Jaso and Iwakuma but he was a good field general even if he could not identify good players. That makes the fact that he is pissed over the players Jack brought in this offseason even worse.

  39. downwarddog on September 29th, 2013 1:05 pm

    Wedge is as bad managing as Zduriencik is at hiring personnel. The two deserve each other. So tragic to see them split up.

  40. Beniitec on September 30th, 2013 8:59 am

    Wait… Wedgie got a Wedgie and quit. Love it. Hey, no offense but I’m glad he’s gone. So many opportunities in extra inning games with men on base and no outs and he could never manufacture a run. That’s where managing comes in. It’s your J O B. And he did not do a very good job at it IMHO. How about someone like a Dan Wilson? Isn’t he managing somewhere and he’s a former catcher (ala Mike Scoscia) I’m not sure how great he’d be but he’d probably bring in some energy. Anyone know what kind of manager he is?

  41. don52656 on October 1st, 2013 3:52 pm

    How does one measure the effectiveness of a manager? I tried this method….for every manager who managed a team this season and who has managed at least 1000 games, compare the actual won-loss record with the expected won-lost record as defined by runs scored/allowed, or pythagorean record. There are 18 such managers, and they are sorted below by the number of actual wins above/below expected per 162 games:

    Gardenhire 1.65
    Scioscia 1.62
    Bochy 1.56
    Melvin 1.45
    DJohnson 1.14
    Black 1.05
    Girardi 0.93
    Baker 0.83
    Maddon 0.83
    Showalter 0.68
    Washington 0.48
    Manuel 0.46
    Leyland 0.45
    Francona 0.22
    Yost -0.03
    Collins -0.14
    Hurdle -0.61
    Wedge -3.11

    Now I don’t know how much of this is noise or luck, but I would think that a sample size of 1000+ games is sufficient enough to take this list and conclude that the Mariners will not be worse off without Wedge. He’s either really bad at managing in-game situations, or incredibly unlucky.

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