A few quick thoughts. Basically, we waited for 162 games last year for a manager to handle a situation the way Eric Wedge did and we are only six games into the season.
It raises a few questions. You wonder if Don Wakamatsu had as much backing from the organization as Wedge seems to have this year.
General manager Jack Zduriencik offered these comments about the situation:
"Eric handled it the way he sees fit and I certainly support what Eric has done and how Eric has gone about it, and I think that’s all I’ll say about it.I think that’s enough said. He’s the manager, he’s in charge and I support my manager in how he’s handling things.
"We hired Eric because of what I know Eric is and what I believe is the right guy in this point in time. During the course of the year you’ll have certain things that will happen here and there, he’s aggressive, and that’s all that needs be said about it."Zduriencik said he would speak to Wilson if he thought it was necessary. But hasn't yet and has no plans to.
Am I surprised that Wedge used the words "unspeakable" and "unacceptable?" Well, yes and no.
Yes, I'm surprised because Wedge told me in an interview that he was going to protect his players in the media. He isn't going to criticize them openly in the press. He never did that in Cleveland. In fact, he was ridiculously protective of his players when it came to discipline and benchings - even Milton Bradley. Wedge did admit that there were some things he would do differently this time around. But still, I was stunned when he said those things.
However, the more I think about it. I'm not quite as surprised. One thing in writing that big story it taught me about Wedge and the type of man he is. And to him, giving up is one of the worst sins a player could commit.
Wedge was player of basic talent, who maximized his effort by simply outworking, outhustling and outwilling other players. His success was all self-made. And perhaps unfairly, his career was cut short by debilitating injuries. He preaches the ideas of competing, being accountable, being professional and playing hard. By asking to be taken out of the game, Jack Wilson was going against the very core of what Wedge values in a baseball player. To him that "unspeakable" and "unacceptable." In my story, I discuss Wedge's love of John Wayne and what his movie characters represented. Could you ever imagine a John Wayne character begging out of a situation because it was too hard. The whole concept had to be completely unfathomable to Wedge.
Listen to Wedge in that interview. It doesn't sound like Wilson is going to see the field anytime soon. That's a $5 million bench player right there. I'm sure Jack Zduriencik has placed calls to the Minnesota Twins, who lost Tsuyoshi Nishioka to a broken leg. The Twins might not want to play Wilson at second, but they could also put him at shortstop and move Alexi Casilla to second. He may even call the Phillies, who have a hole at second base while Chase Utley is out.
But the question is whether or not teams will want to take a guy who begged out of a game just when the game got tough. Not at $5 million dollars. The Mariners will have to eat some money on that for certain. Does Jack Wilson have a future with this team. It doesn't appear so.