Rinse, Lather, Repeat: Wedge The Pick
Tim Chalberg • Friday, October 15, 2010
But I digress. Eric Wedge is the guy. Many people have great things to say about him, as Shannon Drayer reports. Personally, I think he is a good manager too. He at least did not get in the way of the Indians being a great team. Perhaps even more promising, Wedge took over Cleveland as their core at the time - guys like CC Sabathia, Victor Martinez, Travis Hafner, and others - came of age. The Mariners appear to be on the verge of a similar turnover on their roster, where they will turn the reins over to a young core that needs to come of age.
Counting on Eric Wedge to do what he did in Cleveland, given the young guys the Mariners have right now, is not that bad of a strategy. It makes sense. It isn't hard imaging such a strategy working.
However, Ryan Divish's piece on Eric Wedge paints a darker side to this hire. Wedge has strong selling points, and some selling points that are easy to get behind. However, they also happen to be a bunch of the selling points that Don Wakamatsu had.
So, why exactly did Don Wakamatsu get fired if the Mariners ended up just going out and finding one of the most similar managers to him that they could find?
There are some positives. It seems that Jack Zduriencik has a good idea what he wants in a manager. A bad season was not enough to make him abandon his grand plan, and that kind of belief system (I had to go there) is good to see from the top of an organization.
Still, if Wak got canned after a year and a half, and Eric Wedge is pretty similar to him, while will he last much longer?
It feels weird to like Eric Wedge as a manager, yet not like that my team hired him, but that is where I am at. Wedge is fully capable of coming to Seattle and succeeding, but if he does, he will for all the same reasons that Don Wakamatsu could have succeeded.
The Mariners are not going in a different direction with Eric Wedge. Bringing in a loud personality like Bobby Valentine would have been a different direction. Even a little more confrontational, no-nonsense guy like John Gibbons might have been a different direction. The Mariners had a chance to alter their course, yet they did not.
I wouldn't have fired Don Wakamatsu, so I suppose I should be happy that the Mariners found a new manager with a bunch of the same qualities. It alarms me though that Zduriencik would hire such a similar manager to Wak after feeling Wak needed to go after only a year and a half.
Then again, I am a believer in the Ken Griffey Jr. conspiracy theory. Maybe this is yet another sign that Griffey was the driving force behind Wak's firing. Maybe Z wanted to find a guy very much like Wakamatsu, because he did not want to can him in the first place.
Here's hoping that Eric Wedge gets the Mariners but the ALCS, but unlike the Indians, get up 3-1 and finish the job.