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.

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.

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Jason A. Churchill

Churchill founded Prospect Insider in 2006 after getting his start at InsidethePark.com. He spent several years covering prep, college and pro sports for various newspapers, including The News Tribune and Seattle PI. Jason spent 4 1/2 years at ESPN and two years at CBS Radio prior to joining HERO Sports in July, 2016. Find Jason's Mariners podcast, Baseball Things, right here and follow him on Twitter @ProspectInsider.

9 Comments

  1. For openers Guerrero being canned by people above Engle and then Engle leaving when contract is over to the LAD with Guerrero. Engle was unhappy with that. It is the big 2 doing what they do no matter what anyone say’s below them. Armstrong and Lincoln both need to go. Any real team wanting a championship would have got rid of them years ago.

  2. The M’s have some inhouse problems with people who are not happy about certain hires and people they have let go. And now onto yet another Manager. One we lost due to a rumored un happey Ichiro. Another do to a lack of winning in a young rebuilding team and now who can we get. Top guys will not go any place until the Cubs/Nationals/NYY decide who their new Manager is. We will get what is left over.

  3. Need to be clear about one thing, they did not get let Engle go, he chose to go, in most part because they fired his right hand man, Martinez.

  4. The FO has had too much turnover, that indicates personnel problems to me. Some have been scapegoated and letting Bob Engle go was just stupid. Since the troika don’t give straight answers to questions you are left with no choice but to believe they are equally complicit. The hotshot sports doctor they hired to change their system is now working with the Pirates, they actually listen to him. The Pirates also have a five person analytics department who works with their manager and players every day. The M’s best new hire in the past year was a 25-year old GM for the Pulaski Mariners, they were their league champions. Now we know where Z’s replacement can be found.

  5. First sentence correction:

    “Maybe, while Wedge was out, they noticed that under Robbie Thompson, there weren’t so many lineup changes, and that the team started to respond.”

    It’s early and I’m half asleep….LOL

  6. Maybe, while Wedge was out, then noticed that under Robbie Thompson, there were so many lineup changes, and the team started to respond. Wedge was notorious for consistently “tinkering” with the lineup. Thompson sent a fairly consistent lineup day-to-day.

    I’m sure there is a lot that we don’t know. What I read in the paper this morning suggested that it could have been about lineups, personnel and possibly the coaching staff. I for one won’t miss Wedge’s tinkering. How can a team develop, when it’s not consistent?

    As for the “we’ll never get another manager to come to Seattle” crowd, I think you may be wrong. Why? Because, there is a core of at least good young players and a ton of payroll flexibility, A smart player manager might see opportunity. If he’s granted ability to give his input into free agent targets, he could easily turn around this group of young players.

    What I did see in Eric’s comments, is that he wanted to continue with the status quo. Stick with the kids and wait for them to develop. In fact, his statements didn’t seem to have any concern about urgency. He seemed to think that if you keep doing the same thing, all things will fix themselves. I don’t agree. He’s given the kids a soft landing. Stuck to the “developing” theme, while allowing players to make the same mistakes, over and over, and supported them in doing so. There needs to be a new voice. A manager can still be patient, but that doesn’t mean they have to accept poor play. That’s not a developmental thing, it’s an expectation that the kids will do it in their own time.

    Time has come for a combination of Wedge and Pinella. There needs to be more accountability on the field. They’ve got players capable of stealing bases, yet they don’t. Why is that? Waiting for the homerun?

    I can’t believe that many are upset with the way Wedge managed a game. He wasn’t particularly daring, but overly creative when it came to a consistent lineup. Some need to think about what they are defending.

  7. This issue seems to have focused a lot of attention on how dysfunctional the team is.

    Seattle is becoming a joke. Not a good sign.

  8. Now today Wedge says he would NOT come back even if the team had offered him a five year extension. He didn’t like the fact Jack Z said he turned down the one year offer.

    Please, of coarse Wedge would be back had the team offered him 5 years. I don’t know why the team doesn’t tell him to just go away and let someone else manage the final game(s).

    His spouting off is fun go read about, but I don’t see how he gets another big league coaching job…

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