By Shannon Drayer
On the pregame show Sunday, manager Eric Wedge told Rick Rizzs that he hopes to be back in the dugout after the Mariners return from their next road trip.
“I feel great,” he said. “I have had two to three doctors appointments every day since this has happened, just working to get myself back on track.”
Then, for the first time publicly, Wedge talked about the minor stroke in his brainstem he suffered July 22.
“When that took me over in batting practice that one day, it put me in the position where I really couldn’t move or do anything for a couple days,” he told Rizzs. “Then the swelling went down and things started to lighten up for me. I still have some pressure in my head, but nowhere near what it was before.”
There are still tests that Wedge needs to undergo and pass before he is allowed to return. While it has been hard to be away from the team, he understands there are no shortcuts when you are talking about your life.
“I expect a 100 percent recovery,” he said. “Physically I am fine. Mentally I have been fine throughout. It is just about making sure I am not in harm’s way anymore. That is the number one thing because obviously, if something like this happens again, I don’t think I will be as lucky.”
Wedge made a surprise appearance in the clubhouse Sunday morning after the Mariners suffered two ugly losses to the Brewers. He spoke with the coaches in a closed-door meeting and then with individual players as he made the rounds in the clubhouse.
“I am just making sure I stay in touch with them as much as I can,” he said. “I miss them so much and want to be here, it’s such a critical time. Robby [Thompson] is doing a great job as well as the rest of the staff. The players are hanging in there and fighting.”
“It has been one of the toughest things I have ever had to go through, most of all not being here,” he said. “You talk about August and September, that’s when you separate the men from the boys, and you want to be there to help lead that. You have got to play tension free but there has to be a sense of urgency right along with that. That’s the line we are trying to walk here.”
Wedge’s message to his team? Keep after it.
“I talked to them about staying aggressive and taking the game to them,” he said. “We have always been our best when we have that energy and attitude and aggressiveness out there and play offensive. Even when you are on the mound or playing defense, you still want to be an offensive club, aggressive with everything.”
With any luck, he will be back soon to remind the Mariners of this every day.