The M’s Need to Fire Eric Wedge
This has been a very frustrating season for the Mariners. Coming into the season the team had high hopes of making the playoffs or at least finishing the season with a record of .500 or above. Neither of those goals will be accomplished this season. The Mariners are currently on pace to loss more games than last season. Eric Wedge needs to be held accountable for the failures of the club this season. The M’s upper management need to give Wedge his pink slip and find a manager that can lead them back to contention in the future.
Wedge was hired by the Mariners to become the team’s new manager after the 2010 season. He has a record of 204-256 in three seasons with the club. The team has finished in last place each of his first two seasons and would finish in last again if the Astros didn’t join the division this season. Wedge might not have had very good talent in his first couple of seasons with the M’s, but this season he had the talent to put a competitive team on the field.
The biggest reason that the M’s should let him go is: that his baseball philosophy hasn’t worked. He seems to stick with struggling players for way too long. Below are two glaring examples of sticking with struggling players for too long this season. Outfielder Michael Saunders struggled for over a month at the plate and Wedge kept on putting him in the lineup with no positive results. Wedge should have gone with veteran Endy Chavez, who would have quality at-bats and give the team a better chance to win than a struggling Saunders would. A similar situation occurred with closer Tom Wilhelmsen during the season. Wilhelmsen struggled for over a month and half with control and Wedge kept on throwing him out there. Wedge should have either gone with rookie reliever Medina or veteran Perez to assume the closer’s role while Wilhelmsen found his control in the minors.
It seems like Wedge has only one offensive philosophy for the team. This season the M’s have relied solely on the home run ball to score runs. Over half of the Mariners total runs have been scored via the long ball. The long ball strategy really hasn’t helped the M’s surpass last season’s win total. There needs to be a healthy balance of long ball and situational hitting that this team doesn’t possess. Wedge hasn’t used any of the speed on the team. The Mariners have a lot of speed on the club ever since the arrivals of rookies’ Nick Franklin and Brad Miller, but as mentioned before the team hasn’t used their speed on the base paths.
The Mariners’ front office needs to make a wise business decision with Wedge and not think with their hearts. Wedge suffered a minor stroke before a game against the Indians in July. He missed eight series for the Mariners. Once Wedge returned to work, the M’s went on a six game losing streak. This should be the last nail in Wedge’s proverbial coffin. The Mariners won series against playoff caliber teams on the road with a different voice and lose six games at home with Wedge back. Wedge has had three years to get this team back into contention and has failed miserably at it. It is high time for the M’s to let a new voice take over the reigns of this team and bring back respectability to the franchise.