With Eric Wedge down to only two games left as Seattle Mariners manager, it seems like the gloves are starting to come off a bit in his comments to the media. Take it away, Geoff Baker.
Wedge disagrees with Jack Zduriencik's comments that manager and GM were aligned on most things besides contract. "That's not the case.''
— Geoff Baker (@GeoffBakerTIMES) September 28, 2013
In the past, it seemed like Wedge and GM Jack Zduriencik were on the same page with personnel decisions, acquisitions and such. Wedge will want to manage again, so I doubt he’s going to start disclosing a bunch of details by throwing his current boss under the bus. However, there’s enough here to really start to wonder if their seemingly good-working relationship was rockier than the surface showed.
The first thing that comes to mind was Wedge’s fiery post-game presser heading into the All-Star break. Wedge made it pretty clear that changes would be coming. However, when the team began the second half, the same roster was rolled out there for more of the same. Was that just an upset manager blowing some steam, or did he feel changes were needed that his oversight disagreed with?
There have been other shaky moves within the organization over the last few years that might make one side with Wedge on this matter. Carmen Fusco being hung out to dry on the Josh Luetke situation. Scouts being let go in confusing manner. The distancing and then eventual ousting of Tony Blengino.
How many of these moves were made by Jack, or from higher up the food chain are unknown. And, really, that’s one of the biggest problems we’ve seen under the Zduriencik regime. A total lack of transparency. While their quite ways came in handy for a couple shocking trades, they have left many in the media and fan base to do a whole lot of guess work. You’re never going to know everything, but it sure felt like we knew nothing.
I still don’t know that Eric Wedge would be the guy if and when this ship gets righted. I’ll never forget him batting John Jaso lead off with a southpaw on the hill, just one of many head-scratching moves during his tenure.
But, we have to remember: Eric Wedge never lost his clubhouse. He seemed like a player’s manger. He voiced his desire to make changes. There might be enough doubt cast now to wonder if he really wasn’t ever given a roster he truly wanted.
This doesn’t instantly make him blameless for the results of the last three seasons, but it sure makes him look a lot more like a scapegoat.
Jason A. Churchill
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