Tag: Eric Wedge

Eric Wedge Hired as Blue Jays Player Development Adviser

The Toronto Blue Jays announced on Saturday they have hired Eric Wedge as the team’s new player development adviser. 

Wedge spent 10 seasons as a big league manager with the Cleveland Indians from 2003-2009 and the Seattle Mariners from 2011-2013.   

He posted a career record of 774-846 in that span, where he won the 2007 American League Manager of the Year Award after leading the Indians to a 96-66 season. 

However, it was only one of two winning seasons that he ever posted. 

Wedge hasn’t been in the league since his falling out with the Mariners after three years with the team. Posting a 213-273 record with them, Wedge went after the front office in an article by Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times

Instead of finding a new job in the dugout, Wedge headed to the studio where he worked with ESPN’s Baseball TonightOver that span, he’s impressed TSN’s Gareth Wheeler: 

While he’ll be working closely with the Blue Jays roster, there are some, like TSN’s Steve Simmons, who believe that there will be an expanded role for him at some point:

Current Toronto manager John Gibbons should not be going anywhere soon, though. The Blue Jays are coming off of their best season since 1993, in which they won 93 games and pushed the eventual World Series champion Kansas City Royals to six games in the ALCS. 

But if the Blue Jays aren’t putting up good results in 2016 and are looking to make a change, there is always a managerial option in Wedge. Though a power-laden roster with improved pitching doesn’t suggest that will happen any time soon. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com

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Eric Wedge Will Not Return as Seattle Mariners Manager Next Season

Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge will not return to the team in 2014, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:

Wedge is in the midst of his third consecutive season finishing in fourth-place in the American League West division as skipper for the Mariners, who will miss out on the MLB playoffs for a 12th consecutive campaign.

MLB.com’s Greg Johns provides this quote from Mariners general manager Zach Zduriencik:

The Mariners currently stand at 70-89 on the season entering Friday’s home game against the Oakland Athletics.

Entering the final three-game homestand with the A’s, Wedge’s record with the Mariners is 212-271, per Baseball-Reference.com. Seattle has been double-digit games under .500 in each of his three seasons at the helm.

Back in July, Wedge suffered a stroke and missed 28 games before returning on Aug. 23. Thankfully, Wedge’s health appears to be fine, but things haven’t turned around for the Mariners on the field, where they have gone 10-22 since Wedge’s comeback.

The 45-year-old Wedge recently said he felt like he was “hanging out there” with regard to his status for next season (h/t AP via ESPN). 

There was reason to hope the tide could have turned in Seattle upon Wedge’s arrival in 2011. However, the 2007 AL Manager of the Year, formerly of the Cleveland Indians, could never gain any traction in what will be a rather short three-year tenure.

For a team that has a lot of question marks heading into the offseason, finding a new manager appears to be priority No. 1 at this point.


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Seattle Mariners: The Show Must Go On, It’s Dustin Ackley Bat Night!

Did you know that Saturday night at Safeco Field is Dustin Ackley Bat Night?

All kids 14 and under will receive a full-sized Dustin Ackley Louisville Slugger, complements of Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. 

Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up.

Don’t believe me?

Feel free to check the official 2013 promotions and special events schedule at Mariners.com.

Honestly, sometimes you need to laugh to keep from crying with this team.

However, if you’ve already given up all hope, feel free to simply take the bat home to smash your “Smoakamotive” (eBay) from last year to pieces with it to vent your frustration. 

That’s assuming you will make the journey to Safeco in the first place.   

If I had to venture a guess, I’d imagine that more people in the region probably watched the NFL draft the past two days to see who the Seahawks selected in their quest for a Super Bowl than any of the Mariners’ games.

Making matters worse as we approach the month of May it appears we’re already potentially on course for an expansion team performance this season, according to Larry Stone at the Seattle Times.

I suppose it didn’t help that beyond Monday night’s offensive outburst in support of Felix Hernandez‘s 100th career victory and Hisashi Iwakuma‘s 11-strikeout performance the next night, the trip to Texas was a complete disaster as the Mariners dropped five of six games.  

Things got so bad that manager Eric Wedge decided to bench one of his players (Seattlepi.com) and scold the team (Seattle Times).

Whether these moves have any meaningful impact remains to be seen, yet I suppose Wedge is simply trying to work with what he has at his disposal given that the list of potential reinforcements fail inspire much confidence, according to Stone in another report filed this week:

At Tacoma, there are several players with major-league experience who are off to decent starts. The problems is that in most cases, they are players who have already had struggles at the major-league level. Now, that doesn’t mean they are doomed to have their weaknesses exploited for perpetuity. But it gives you pause.

Perhaps then, I should pause in wondering whether the demotion of Brendan Ryan in favor of Robert Andino is really just the M’s way of paving a path for Brad Miller to take over in the second half?

Regardless, it just doesn‘t make sense to get too far ahead of yourself this season with this crew, especially when you look at the upcoming

After finishing up this homestand against Los Angeles and Baltimore, the M’s will head to Toronto and Pittsburgh, then come back to Seattle for a three-game set to face Oakland before swinging back east to play New York and Cleveland. They will finish off their road trip with two mid-week games against Los Angeles before having Texas show up at Safeco for a weekend series.

I’m feeling jet-lagged just typing that, I can only imagine how the M’s will deal with it in real time.

Oddly enough though, that brutal stretch could set the tone for the remainder of the season.

Coming out of spring training, I had hoped the Mariners would avoid this level of desperation, assuming (more like, hoping) the veterans brought in this winter could help bridge the gap until the team’s top prospects could be integrated into the lineup over the course of the season.

However, beyond the occasional solid pitching performance from Hernandez and Iwakuma, along with the recent hitting streak of Kyle Seager, the rest of the team has generally failed to show any sort of consistency. 

With no solid options to promote, does that mean Wedge and general manager Jack Zduriencik get to take the fall instead if things continue to spiral downward?

As always, Dave Cameron at USS Mariner, is one step ahead of us:

If it happens, I’m not going to be against the decision, and I don’t think having an interim manager or GM would lead to impending doom. But, I don’t know that it would really help anything either.

During a season, there’s only so much an organization can really do. The Mariners made this bed when they let the front office try and build a winning team around dingers and voodoo. It has blown up in their faces in a comical way, and it’s probably going to cost the people in charge their jobs. But, I don’t know that it needs to cost them their jobs in a RIGHT NOW THIS MINUTE I DEMAND CHANGE kind of way.

I can’t argue with any of that, although part of me would like to see Cameron given a shot to see if he could turn things around.

Meanwhile, I can only imagine what will be going through Dustin Ackley‘s mind tonight at Safeco as his teammates likely joke with him about the fact it’s his bat night.  Hopefully, in spite of their struggles, the players will still have a sense of humor. 

Truth be told, I almost pity this team.  As we saw in spring training, they seem to be a decent bunch, but bless their hearts, they can’t quite get their act together.

For his sake, I hope Ackley can at least give Saturday night’s crowd something to cheer about.  It may not be much, but at this point, any small gesture is welcome. 

To think that only two years earlier, Ackley was still struggling at Tacoma before catching fire prior to his arrival in Seattle.  I remember him continuing his impressive stretch after joining the M’s in what looked like the beginning of a promising career. 

Deep down, I still think there’s a solid ballplayer in Ackley searching to rediscover that spark, as evidenced by what we’ve seen the past week. 

Once again though, I’d like to avoid getting too far ahead of myself and take this one step at a time. 

Yet, if you’re of the tender age to receive a bat on Saturday night, you may be left to wonder why the adult accompanying you struggles to find the joy that he or she once had for the game and this particular franchise. 

It’s not that anyone should expect the Mariners to win, it’s more that a ticket to the ballpark should afford you an experience worth savoring, regardless of whatever swag/trinket the team hands you at the turnstile.  

It doesn‘t necessarily have to be this way, but the “dingers and voodoo” approach that Cameron described, has struggled to generate wins or excitement; therefore fans are staying away.

Could things change?

Anything is possible, yet barring a minor miracle, I think this team will look very different by midsummer. 

Until then, the show must go on. Just don’t expect anyone to show up to watch unless a bobblehead, key chain, hat or T-shirt is involved with bonus points on night’s like tonight when King Felix is pitching. 

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Why Eric Wedge Must Shoulder the Blame for the Mariners’ Struggles

Eric Wedge is old school. After the management catastrophes of the last few years, that’s not such a bad thing. But his stubbornness and insistence on doing the same thing over and over regardless of the result is hurting this team.

If Wedge doesn’t get with the times, we’ll have a lot more days like today to look forward to.

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Seattle Mariners: Lineup Switch Proves Smart in Win Against Oakland

I know it’s only the third game of the season, but you can’t help but get your hopes up when watching a game like this one. 

On Friday night, in what felt like the real season opener, the Mariners bats came alive. They put up seven runs on 13 hits against the Oakland A’s, including seven hits and five run against ace Brandon McCarthy. And no bat was bigger than new leadoff man Chone Figgins, who finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBI. 

After a rough two games in the Tokyo Dome last week, where he only recorded one hit in eight at-bats, Figgins seemed to be more focused at the plate back on domestic soil. Granted, two of his hits were bunts and the other was a bloop single, but he still got on base. And that’s all that manager Eric Wedge and M’s fan can ask for after his struggles at the plate over the past two years. 

When Figgins gets on base it opens up many opportunities thanks to his speed, as shown when he recorded his first stolen base of the young season. It also gives Dustin Ackley the chance to thrive in the situations he was made for, which he also did against the A’s in going 3-for-5. If those two can get on base as well as they did Friday night, then it sets up the ideal situation Seattle was hoping for when they moved 10-year leadoff man, Ichiro, to the three hole. 

Though Ichiro was hitless on the night, he came through with a sac fly to bring in the team’s seventh run of the game. If he can get productive outs on an off night, wait till he’s playing like the Ichiro we all know and love with runners on (career .334 with RISP). 

When the top three players in your lineup have the potential to be three of the best in the league when playing at their best, you are guaranteed to see the numbers soar in the win column. Once the young power trio of Justin Smoak, Jesus Montero and Mike Carp (who bat 4-6 in the lineup) all get into their grooves, the Mariners will be one team to watch out for.

The key for me is Figgins though, and if he can get on base by any means necessary like he did in Oakland, then things are looking good for the Seattle Mariners

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Seattle Mariners: Your Bonafied Postgame Traffic-Planning Commission at Work!

At a Seattle Mariners professional baseball game last night, we were parked in the garage between the football and baseball stadiums in Seattle.  This was a perk for the front-row tickets given my wife by supervisors for all her good work of the past few months.  No nose-bleeders for this group on this warm late-spring night! 

And no hiking tens of miles to the car following the game.  This time we would be the snooty royalty that annoys the masses of peons, and like snooty royalty, we would be parking across the street from the baseball stadium free of charge with the BMWs, Mercedes and exotic sports cars of the world.

Walking only a few yards to the car was really cool. 

But after the game, not getting out of the same parking garage for over an hour, gridlocked in non-moving vehicles just outside the stadium, sort of ruined the thrill of parking in the garage where they charge mere mortals up to $50.  

More disturbing, it became apparent that the traffic planners in our city were either crazy, or deliberately making traffic as bad as they could following typical sporting events.  It was almost as if they were making traffic worse—far worse than had there been no helpful, friendly Seattle police officers supervising traffic flow after games.

How do I know this? 

Because after waiting an hour in toxic fumes that could melt steel, I finally managed to escape the confines of the concrete garage, but was immediately ushered to the east side of Safeco Field where all vehicles did not move.  Nor could they move, because helpful, friendly Seattle police traffic officers were routing all 45,000 vehicles into the same one-lane alley south of the stadium. 

Ironic, because I sort of wanted to go north, and catch the freeway on-ramp that would take me north, that I could see…ever so close.

But the friendly, helpful police traffic officers were having none of that!  Nope, they insisted all traffic go south, right into a big gridlocked mess where nobody could move out of because other helpful police traffic officers were routing everyone where they should not be.   

So there we sat.  For a very long time.  Nobody moving and everybody getting extremely agitated.

Finally, the two-hour mark after the game hit, and like magic all the police officers hopped on their little parked motorcycles and sped away into the night, suddenly leaving all the gridlocked intersections unregulated. 

And once they did, within five minutes the traffic had completely cleared out. 

No more helpful traffic cops equaled no more gridlock.  Who would have thought?

At that point many of us, as we drove home, asked the important and profound question most citizens in Washington State have asked after sporting events: 

“Hey, if traffic is better without the friendly, helpful police regulation following games, perhaps the city is wasting its money by having each and every intersection littered with these fine, uniformed folks?”

Maybe a prudent plan would be to not spend the money for all these lovely traffic heroes, and instead let things be like they are during the rest of the week? 

Why not let traffic do what traffic does, without the “help”?

Once, several years ago, following another game in which this exact same thing happened, I emailed the beloved traffic commission chairperson and suggested this wonderful and intellectual idea. 

And just like the friendly, helpful police traffic officers at every corner last night, he eventually emailed me back with suggestions of various physical activities that I could do to myself. 

He also mentioned that people as stupid as me don’t realize that this was actually a huge traffic improvement.  “You idiot!”

See this is because the Seattle Police Department, in co-operation with the City of Seattle and various inept mayors, has carefully crafted a set of hiring guidelines for every single traffic planner.  Here’s how it goes:


Clause No. 1

If the applicant shows college education or traffic planning experience, that person will immediately be disqualified for employment consideration by the PGSTPC (Postgame Seattle Traffic Planning Commission).


Clause No. 2

If said applicant shows any natural talent for common-sense thinking, that person too, will immediately be disqualified for employment consideration by the PGSTPC.


Clause No. 3

Preferred applicants will normally be found in chimpanzee cages at the Woodland Park Zoo, or found sleeping under bridges in frigid temperatures.


Clause No. 4

Habitual inebriation for each traffic planner is a plus.  In fact, if said applicant arrives at job interview immediately after consuming a fifth of Jack Daniels straight up, that applicant will vault to the top of the stack and may be immediately hired and assigned to supervise all traffic planning for the day, before sobering up.


Contrary to what you might think, the goal of the PGSTPC is not to clear traffic out.  Nope.  The goal is to keep traffic confined in unmoving gridlock for as long as possible. 

Speculation persists that the local business community is behind this reasoning, insisting that the longer you stay in their neighborhood, the more crap you may buy.  Oh sure, most of those businesses are closed by the time the Mariners games are over, but…well, please see Clauses No. 1 through No. 4 if you are confused about this policy.

Also, within the traffic code is the north/south directional concept.  If said vehicle prefers to travel north (because your house is north of the stadium), each and every regulated traffic corridor will insist you go south.  For many miles too.  Conversely, if your house is situated to the south, then the very same traffic corridors will route you north in the opposite direction you wish to go, usually into gridlock and parked contraptions that cannot move.

Years and millions of dollars were spent on little, unknown GPS chips that police officers read from your vehicle as you approach, like they do for the toll bridges.  Particular effort is put into stringent requirements insisting the direction of your vehicle goes in the opposite direction that it should.   


Because it’s fun for intoxicated traffic planners to see all the cars not moving for hours after a sporting event.

And don’t bother screaming at localized traffic cops on corners about all of this, because that will merely make them cranky.  They didn’t do the traffic plan, they merely enforce it.  In fact, when frustrated motorists yell at cops, frustrated motorists may soon find themselves charged with heinous crimes and strip-searched in public. 

What frustrated motorists can do, however, is write sarcastic articles like this one when they get home several weeks later, and then send them to every public official they can find. 

That’ll teach those jerks.

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MLB: Which 5 Managers Are Starting to Feel the Heat in the Early Going?

It may still be really early in the season, but as the weather heats up, so does the proverbial seat that each manager sits on.

A fast start can do a lot to assuage the demands of the fans, whereas a slow start can make the calls come louder and more bloodthirsty.

Again, I know that it’s early. I know that nobody’s getting fired anytime soon. However, what we can do right now is figure out who should start feeling uncomfortable if they can’t turn things around soon. 

I’ve tried to leave first-year managers off this list, since they should get a slightly longer leash to establish themselves.

Down the road, they may be in trouble. For today, most of them are safe. 

Did I say I know it’s early? This is all just speculation.

I realise I’ll catch flack for suggesting that people could be fired, just half a month into the season.

However, once again, I’m just looking ahead and predicting. That’s it. It might not come to pass. Who knows?

For now, let’s just enjoy the ride. 

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Seattle Mariners OF Milton Bradley Arrested in Los Angels on Felony Charge

Milton Bradley must have found the challenge of getting into trouble on the field too simple.

On Tuesday night, it was reported by KING5 News that Bradley had been arrested and charged with a felony in Los Angeles.

Full details aren’t yet available, but according to Mike Ferreri of KOMO News, he was in violation of penal code 422 which translates to some sort of bodily harm threat. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions, but this could be as serious as a death threat.

Bradley has posted $50,000 bond and has been released from police custody.

What does this mean for his Mariners future? Well, there was a pretty good chance that Milton would be out of the picture. Considering his history with new manager Eric Wedge, a couple bad years statistically, and his continued issues, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see him let go.

This pretty much just gives the Mariners every reason they need to move on.

The question will surely be asked about what this means for the Mariners having to pay Bradley. The CBA is very much in favor of the player in these incidents. Unless he does significant jail time, the Mariners are most likely on the hook for all of his remaining salary.

Let the “get out of jail free” card jokes commence.

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Seattle Mariners: 5 Reasons They Will Be More Enjoyable To Watch in 2011

Here’s a fact: The 2010 Mariners were pretty miserable. Aside from the expected contributions from Ichiro, Felix and Gutierrez, the rest was hard to watch. I’m an expert on the subject of how sore this made your eyes, having only missed 10 games this past season (and I thank my lovely girlfriend for those 10 blissful days).

So, what might 2011 bring? Could it get better before it gets worse? Could an improving AL West further bury the Mariners?

Well, by golly, pull up a seat and have a listen.

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Seattle Mariners Hire Manager: We Don’t Know About Eric Wedge

One of the major themes of the Seattle blogosphere this offseason, at least as it pertains to any potential managerial hiring, is quite simply that we don’t have enough information as fans to form a quantitative opinion of the guy they hired.

The Mariners hired Eric Wedge to be their new manager, and the move was met with a mass consensus of indifference among Mariners fans.

I’d be willing to bet that only Wedge’s close relatives are sitting at home going “Hell Yeah! Eric Wedge is the Mariners new manager!” By the same rationale, there are likely very few fans contemplating jumping off the Narrows ridge as a result of Wedge being put in charge of their favorite ballclub.

As fans, we have a very limited arsenal for evaluation of managers, in reality. While many sabermetricians may break down win probably gains compared to probability risked based on in-game strategic decisions, typical perception is that managing a baseball team requires a lot more than sound sacrifice bunt strategy.

So what do we know about Wedge?

He’s got a near-.500 record (slightly below), managed one of the most physically talented young teams in baseball through the mid-2000s, and came within a game of the World Series in 2007.

Wedge oversaw the development of guys like Grady Sizemore, Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Shoo Choo, Travis Hafner, Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, Victor Martinez and countless other once-or-current Indians farmhands.

Many of those guys he managed at multiple levels, as Wedge got his start coaching in the Indians farm system.

We know that in the year since Wedge left, the Indians have been pretty awful. We also know that in 2008 and 2009, the team dealt two consecutive former Cy Young Award winners.

So, how much credit do we give Wedge for those players development? How much do we give him credit for their continued success? How much do we blame him for their failures?

The real answer is that we don’t know.

We do know that Milton Bradley hasn’t always had the highest opinion of Eric Wedge; we also know that Milton Bradley has made himself look like quite the asshole on several occasions. And we know that both of them are saying the right things right now.

We also know that at his press conference, Eric Wedge looked like a door to door vacuum salesman who moonlights at your local dive bar hitting on girls half his age.

We know that Eric Wedge was a catcher during his playing career, as was Don Wakamatsu, as were Mike Sciocia, Joe Torre, and Joe Girardi.

Catchers, by virtue of their involvement of so many aspects of the game are often regarded highly as managerial candidates; we also know that Lou Piniella was an outfielder, Terry Francona was a first baseman, and Ozzie Guillen played shortstop.

We also know that apart from Wedge and Wakamatsu, every one of those managers has won a World Series.

We know that former Indians general manager Mark Shapiro came out in support of the Mariners hiring of Wedge. We also know that Shapiro fired Wedge.

Wedge isn’t Wakamatsu, we know that. We don’t know if he will yield better results as a manager either.

We know that there is a common perception that Wakamatsu’s handling of Ken Griffey Jr. led to some discontent in the Mariners locker room, but we don’t know how much better Wedge’s managing style will gel with Mariners players or how it will manifest itself into results.

One thing that we can have faith in, however, is that Jack Zduriencik is adaptable when it comes to personnel acquisition.

He seemed enamored with high level physical tools at the plate and on the mound in Milwaukee. Zduriencik drafted several players with high-90s fastballs and off-the-charts power.

In Seattle, when building a team for Safeco Field and Wakamatsu, Zduriencik acquired good defensive players and finesse left-handed pitchers who could use the cavernous ballpark to their advantage.

Wedge had a ton of talent at his disposal when he was successful in Cleveland, and he hasn’t managed anywhere else. We don’t know what was really at work when Cleveland had its success under Wedge, but we know that his boss will work to give him a deep arsenal.

If Eric Wedge is in fact a good manager, he’ll have success in Seattle. If he’s a bad-mediocre manager and the Mariners young prospects are as talented as we think, Wedge may still have success in Seattle.

But until he steps into the dugout in 2011, we won’t really know.

Fixing the 2011 Mariners player profiles:

Ted LillyRamon HernandezMichael SaundersColby RasmusAdam DunnChone FigginsDustin AckleyFelipe LopezWilly Aybar, Jack/Josh WilsonYu Darvish

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