Mariners Insider Blog

Wedge calls 2012 a success, looks to 2013 with eye to adding veteran bat for middle of lineup

Manager Eric Wedge has just concluded his final pregame media meeting of the season.

Some highlights:

* Considers 2012 a success "without a doubt." Adding, "Ultimately it's about the wins and losses, but I have a great deal of respect for what we're building here. ... Obviously we're a better club this year, moving in the right direction."

* Says team "is hoping to" contend in 2013, but says progress will be measured in a deeper way than simply aiming at a goal such as .500 record or better: "It may be a little bit quick, when it comes to Rebuilding 101. But it’s not beyond the realm. But ultimately, the only thing that I want is for us to continue to get better, because we’re going to do it the right way. If we get better to the point where we get to the point that we’re contending, so be it. But ultimately we’re not going to deviate from the plan, because again, it’s not just about getting there, it’s about staying there. That’s the discipline that I have to have. … I came here to do it the right way, where we get to be a championship-level team and sustain that level of success. If that timetable is next year, that’s great. If not, I know we’re going to continue to get better and continue to get closer to it."

* Top off-season goal is improving the offense. To do that, he says the club might need to go outside the organization to pick up "a veteran presence for the middle of the lineup."

* Expects Brendan Ryan to be his starting shortstop next season, and for him to hit better than he has this year.

* Said Dustin Ackley will be "a hell of a Big League player," but that Ackley is still figuring that out.

* Said Ackley will likely bat first, second or third.

* Said there is "a lot more there" than Jesus Montero showed this season. Said he doesn't know Montero's primary position next season, but that he needs to improve his hitting in the DH role, because that will always be part of his role.

* No direct answer when asked if staff will return intact next season. Said he will meet with his coaches after the game today, then meet with Mariners brass next week.

*Said he's proud of the team's effort through this rough September.

* Said his primary off-season message to his players is: "Understand how good we're going to be."