Fear the Mustache! Is Eric Wedge Finally Our Guy?

Jeff at the Safe with new Eric Wedge mustache

By Scott Rinear

Happy 4th of July weekend! Hopefully most of you in the region were able to get out and enjoy a picture perfect summer day in the northwest, finally.
So in case you missed it, Seattle Mariners pitcher , who has developed the unfortunate and unbelievably frustrating reputation of being the tough luck kid because he pitches so well but never wins, lost another heart breaker by one run, a run that should not have scored. San Diego Padres center fielder walked in the 5th inning and scored the game”s only run. However, upon further review, it was discovered that the count was 3 balls and 2 strikes when Maybin jogged down to first base. A walk with only 3 balls. The fact that a run scored in this manner was the only run surrendered by Fister in 9 innings of work makes “tough luck” an understatement. There”s not much more to say…keep doing what you”re doing Doug! Your fortunes will improve. And for those of you wondering about protesting the game:
“Rule 4.19 Comment: Whenever a manager protests a game because of alleged misapplication of the rules the protest will not be recognized unless the umpires are notified at the time the play under protest occurs and before the next pitch, play or attempted play.” (excerpt from Official Rules page at mlb.com)

Let”s take the positive out of this. Doug Fister is pitching out of his mind, and that is very promising for the future of this team.
As we pass the technical half-way point of the 2011 season and approach the All-Star Break, I wanted to weigh in and perhaps start a discussion about Seattle Mariners manager . Sprinkled throughout the posts on this blog in 2011 have been some brief opinions, praise, and criticisms of the Mariners” second go-around with a former Cleveland Indians manager, but I feel the man (Wedge, aka Mt. Mustache) deserves a little more attention and discussion.
The founding father of this blog, Jeff, and I, in our back and forth Mariner banter this season have long since come to the conclusion that Eric Wedge is The Man, plain and simple. “Fear the Mustache” is Jeff”s brainchild. It”s not about Wedge being a particularly scary individual. It”s about Wedge”s style as a manager and the respect he commands from his players and their opponents, and of course, very literally, his utterly fantastic mustache!
“Fear the Mustache” is also a warning. Wedge became the faltering Indians manager in 2003. The Indians moved up a spot in the final AL Central standings each of his first 3 seasons, and by 2005 they were within 2 games of the playoffs. Then, after a down year in 2006, Wedge lead the 2007 Indians to a 96 win season, a 4-game sweep of the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series, and were one game away from reaching the World Series, losing the ALCS game 7 to the Boston Red Sox.
Wedge was awarded Manger of the Year honors for that 2007 season and I believe he”ll receive that award again, soon, as the manager of the Seattle Mariners. Think about it. The 2011 Mariners were “supposed” to be well out of the race by now. And on paper they probably should be. Through his managerial decisions Wedge has gotten the most out of a team offense ranked last in hits, runs, batting average, on-base %, slugging % and OPS. A team with numbers like that has no business anywhere but the cellar. Of course the Mariners” brilliant pitching staff has a lot to do with their current “striking distance” position in the AL West, but I think a lot of the credit should also be given to Wedge.
I realize one half season might not be enough for some to reach this sort of conclusion, but for me it”s an intangible gut feeling that Wedge is finally our guy, and that he”s made it far enough into the building that he”ll avoid falling victim to the Mariner manager revolving door that was installed when exited said building.
Eric Wedge was a catcher in his playing days, which included a College World Series title with Wichita State in 1989 and some time in the minors and a few stints in the majors. He and his wife Kate Wedge are very active in the community, both in Cleveland and in Seattle, giving a lot back and offering their help during a time when there a lot of people that need it.
So that”s my opinion and feelings about our new manager, but I want to know what other Mariner fans think of Eric Wedge at the mid-way point of his first season as our manager. Is he our guy? Go Mariners! http://jeffsmariners.com

Comments

  1. ross says

    Jeff looked great with a stash. I think we need to find out the truth. Why do the rest of the Mariners hate Doug Fister.

  2. says

    Alan, I agree, the combination of Jackie Z and Wedge needs to be solidified.

    And Ross, I’m not sure what the deal is when Fister pitches. The problem with tonight is yes, there was a weird bad call that lead to the game’s only run, but even without that run by San Diego, the Mariners would have needed more than zero to win.

    • Jeff says

      Wedge is the real deal.He is smart, tough and full of integrity, commanding respect wherever he goes. I met his wife and she is good people to. As far as Jack Z. goes I think he needs to explain what he was thinking when signing Chone Figgins to a 4 year deal at 9 million a year after the Angels didnt seem to want him anymore. He had a terrible postseason with the Angels in 2009 and my gut instinct was he was a liabilty. Obviously the Angels felt the same way as they didn’t try to hard to keep him. The salary Figgins is owed will haunt us for 2 1/2 more years and Jack Z. put that deal together. Granted he has done some good things as well, and if he manages to get Wedge a bat soon without giving away to much I will hold my tongue. But the Wedge will prevail one way or the other. Fear the Mustache! Jeff

      • says

        I agree that the signing of Chone Figgins was a mistake. Usually I agree with you Jeff, but every GM will get one wrong once in a while. The M’s are where they are now because of the moves Jack Z. has made, despite his one bad one. To a contending NL team Figgins may have some value as a utility guy, pinch runner, or defensive replacement. Granted we’ll need to send cash and won’t get much of a return. You’re right, he is a liability at this stage in his career.

  3. says

    I respectfully disagree. I don’t think Wedge is our guy. He has a career losing record in Cleveland after six seasons managing.

    I think his lineups are absoultely terrible and his pitching decisions are qustionable.

    • says

      Thanks for the response Kris. A respectful discussion/debate between Mariner fans about Mariner issues, in this case Eric Wedge, is one of the goals of this blog, “where the fans call the plays.”

      Wedge did have an overall losing record with Cleveland, but he took the helm when they were terrible. He seems to be ahead of that early 2000’s pace with the Mariners as they are already in contention. And he is not exempt from criticism for lineup and pitching decisions, most prominently pulling Fister in that Nationals game. But I still say given the cards he has been dealt in his first season he is doing everything in his power to keep this team competitive. And they are competitive, as a large bulk of their losses are 1 and 2 run deficits. It would be a putrid offense whether Wedge was here or not, and I’m just not sure any other managers would have this team 3.5 games out of first at the half way point.

      It’s a good debate, and I’m excited to see it evolve during Wedge’s tenure with the Mariners.

  4. Mike Herko says

    Got good productivity out of the left field last night. This team cannot afford to carry a DH who hits .200. DITTO 3rd base. What a wasted pitching performance! Again! Wedge is a keeper; I wonder how long he’ll last, given the sit-on -your-hands mentality of the office. Losing gets old…even for Managers!
    Jeff looked good on TV… Hollywood can’t be far behind! Keep the faith, perhaps a couple of key acquisitions are on the horizon…
    Happy Fourth to all, Cheers, M

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