BROCK AND SALK

Eric Wedge loses patience, everyone wins

Apr 17, 2011, 1:22 PM | Updated: Apr 18, 2011, 7:20 am

 

WedgeKC
Mariners manager Eric Wedge, left, meets with players during a pitching change in Seattle’s loss to Kansas City on Friday. Wedge ripped the team the next day following a 7-0 loss, the Mariners’ fourth straight. (AP)

By Mike Salk

It took 15 days, but Eric Wedge eventually lost his patience. I’m not sure anyone could blame him. That was probably eight days longer than it took most of the fans!

“It’s the same thing, different day,” said Wedge after watching the M’s squander opportunities and kick the ball around on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium. “It’s unacceptable. We are not going to keep watching this. We are going to get better. We are not going to address it obviously like we’ve been doing as a team and individually but we are going to get better. We aren’t going to keep doing what we’ve been doing.”

Frustrated fans are going to love this. Here is the manager saying exactly what they would say if they could address the team. This is a manager who preaches accountability and is willing to back it up by giving his team a piece of his mind when the situation warrants it.

This makes us all feel better.

But does it work?

That is the real question. And I’m not sure how to answer it. I think a manager can help his players play smart. I think he can reprimand them for egregious errors in judgment and teach them how to play the game right way.

But can he make an impatient hitter more patient? Can he make a .230 hitter into a .290 hitter? Did stern words make Brendan Ryan come up with a clutch hit the following day?

I don’t think so.

“We’ve had some consistent issues offensively and I don’t think we’ve made enough plays defensively,” Wedge told Rick Rizzs on the pregame show on Sunday. “We’ve done an OK job getting runners on base but we’re leaving 8-10 runners on. You have to finish of AB’s. You have to finish off innings.”

He said those words after watching his team go 2 for 23 with runner in scoring position in the first three games in Kansas City, leaving 25 men on base in the process. While those numbers are horrible, they seem to reflect the quality of the players more than the quality of the concentration.

We would all like to draw blood from a rock, but it helps to remember the limitations of that rock.

Though Wedge’s words may coincide with a Mariners’ turnaround, it’s not likely that one occurred because of the other. But that doesn’t mean the speech didn’t have value. I have said repeatedly that this season will be measured in three ways.

First, Justin Smoak’s development. As of today he is hitting .306 and has been the M’s best offensive player. Second, the culture of the clubhouse. A week ago, players were talking about how they had reverted back to last year’s attitude after a positive spring in Arizona. If it takes a good rip-job from Wedge to turn that back around, I’m all for it. Finally, the development of Michael Pineda (which has been fantastic) and Dustin Ackley 9which we’ll likely see in another month or so).

“We didn’t play good baseball at all today and that’s what pisses me off more than anything,” Wedge said on Saturday.

It may not make the team hit any better, but if a ticked off manager pleases the fans and helps change the culture, then it works for me!

Brock and Salk podcast

Brock and Salk

...

Seattle Sports Video

Video: Most Intriguing #Seahawks #16: LT Charles Cross

Is LT Charles Cross an elite left tackle? Salk seems to think he’s at a crossroads considering the high draft investment. #SeattleSports

19 hours ago

...

Seattle Sports Video

Video: Top 25 Most Intriguing Seattle Seahawks (#16): LT Charles Cross

The Brock & Salk Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM continues their annual Top 25 Most Intriguing Seahawks list heading into the 2024 season. Coming in at #16, left tackle Charles Cross. After being drafted with a top 10 pick two seasons ago, is Cross truly on his way to becoming an elite left tackle? […]

19 hours ago

...

Seattle Sports Video

Video: Which bats should the Seattle Mariners pursue in the trade market?

ESPN’s Jeff Passan joined The Brock & Salk Show to analyze Salk’s list of potential bats the Seattle Mariners should pursue in the trade market. Passan listed one player who ‘is the right fit’ for the Mariners between Brent Rooker, Yandy Diaz, Isaac Paredes, Lamont Wade, Johnathan India, Jazz Chisholm, and Charlie Blackmon. Listen to […]

20 hours ago

Seattle Mariners trade deadline Isaac Paredes Andrés Muñoz Logan Gilbert...

Brent Stecker

ESPN’s Passan: One hitter makes most sense for a Mariners trade

The MLB trade deadline market may be squished, but the Seattle Mariners may still be able to make a run at Tampa Bay slugger Isaac Paredes, says ESPN's Jeff Passan.

23 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Astros Luis Castillo Houston...

Brent Stecker

Why the Mariners ‘don’t look at the Astros’ how they used to

The Seattle Mariners hold just a one-game lead over the Astros in AL West ahead of a huge three-game series to open the second half this weekend.

1 day ago

...

Seattle Sports Video

Video: Top 25 Most Intriguing Seattle Seahawks (#17): DL Derrick Hall

The Brock & Salk Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM continues their annual Top 25 Most Intriguing Seahawks list heading into the 2024 season. Coming in at #17, sophomore defensive lineman Derrick Hall. Despite being a second round pick, Hall struggled during his rookie season. Can he take a big step forward in Mike Macdonald’s […]

2 days ago

Eric Wedge loses patience, everyone wins