By Shannon Drayer
When it comes to talking about his team, Eric Wedge has always been very measured in his comments.
Postgame press-conference blowups just haven’t been something we have seen from him. He is as of much a players’ manager as I have seen in the 10 years I have covered this team. He doesn’t throw players under the bus. He has occasionally called out groups such as the veterans or young players but he doesn’t criticize individuals.
It takes a lot to see any of the above from Wedge. That makes Wednesday’s postgame comments – while not delivered with a raised voice or pounding on the podium – that much more telling of the state of his frustration with this offense.
“We’ve got to hit. It’s time to hit. You are not going to win games unless you hit,” he said after the 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh.
For Wedge, it has gone beyond specifics of why they’re not hitting.
“I’m tired of even talking about approach or mechanics,” he said. “You have got to hit. We can break it down 10 times then break it down 10 times again and we have been doing that here for two and a half years.”
He pointed out that there were reasons why they didn’t hit the first two years. With a good number of players on the roster who have had a full year or more to learn with the big-league club, it would appear there are no excuses in Year 3 of his tenure.
“We have got a couple of injuries,” he said. “Outside of that there are no reasons. The injuries are big but you can’t use them as excuses but you have got to go out and hit. If you are playing, you are here, you have got to hit. Otherwise you are not going to win games.”
The one consistent bright spot has been the offense of Raul Ibanez. One man cannot carry the load alone, however, and Wedge is running out of patience with those around Ibanez in the order.
“We have got guys up here who should be doing better and Raul has been fantastic against right-handers, left-handers, playing every day. He is the shining example of what you want a big leaguer to be,” Wedge said. “But we have got other guys who need to be doing better, both young and old, and we have got to be consistent with it.
“You can’t come to the ballpark and try to win games like this every single day. It is just too damn hard.”