Eric Wedge quits, and you shouldn’t feel bad about feeling good about it

Today Eric Wedge let the Mariners and Seattle know that he won’t be back in 2014 to manage the team. A couple of days ago he was posturing himself as a potential victim for the public eye, wallowing in the limbo he was experiencing relative to his uncertain future with the team.

Jack Zduriencik says he wanted Wedge back. Wedge said the team offered to extend him during the season and he declined. Pardon me if this comes across as a couple rounds of face saving. Pardon me if I acknowledge the health issue that Wedge went through during the season, but dream about dancing on his termination papers.

When I was growing up my dad and I had a discussion about – well lets just say ethics, because it’s not as vivid amid early friday libations – and he explained something to me that has stuck with me for a while: Bad people are bad people. There are bad rich people, bad poor people, bad white people, bad black people, bad chinese people, bad people in perfect health, bad people with aids, bad people with cancer. Those were eight potential bad people that encompass most of the world, and even I wasn’t enough of a smartass to ask him to expound on that by attempting to fill in the gaps. The point is that the quality of a person’s character, while complicated in its measurement, are not influenced by anything but their character themselves, and while we often associate that in an altruistic sense, it has a more dubious connotation also.

Eric Wedge had a stroke, but having strokes is something is certainly not mutually exclusive of a bad manager. Of course, a bad manager is hard to quantify. Some people just stopped reading and left saying “fuck this stupid post, wins wins blah blah fuck sabermetrics fuck everything arrrrrggghhhh.”

Now that they’re gone this is a safer place.

Matthias and I are alike in that we both believe that good process will out-yield bad process over a long enough sample. Matthias knows this because he is a statistics professor, and I know this because I work in an industry quite fixated on process improvement. Matthias is a genius, and I took a managerial accounting class – if you’re keeping score.

So if you don’t buy into that, you’re going to hate the rest of this.

Eric Wedge was a bad manager, and Jack Zduriencik has some of the qualities of a great general manager. Eric Wedge is bad a maximizing contributions of players, and perhaps even bad at distinguishing valuable players from overvalued players. Jack Zduriencik has a bad eye for managers. Don Wakamatsu went from a heartwarming story of a guy that was the first Asian born manager to a guy that was jettisoned out of town on the heels of Ken Griffey Jr.’s napgate. Eric Wedge benched John Jaso for a month, and then didn’t platoon him properly. Jason Bay played an inning in center field. Michael Morse played a lot of innings in the outfield. Raul Ibanez played a fuckload of innings in the outfield.

And the bunts. The god damned bunts. The unyielding fucking bunts.

I know, I know, this is fucked up, the guy just got fired quit.

Eric Wedge is gone, and I am happy. We should be happy. Eric Wedge is a bad baseball manager. If you feel good that Eric Wedge is gone, it’s not something you should alternate with feeling guilty. This is the sum total of him at its best:

He’s kind of interesting because he seems to be so no-nonsense and whatever, but he also grows a goofy handle bar mustache and looks a bunch like Stacy Keach.

We don’t hate him as a person. He’s ostensibly fine as a person. He’d be the kind of high school baseball coach I’d love, but then, that doesn’t really matter. We’re glad Eric Wedge is healthy, and we feel a bit lucky that the Mariners aren’t committed to him for another year.

Good bye Eric Wedge, we wish it had been different, we wish it had been better, but now we wish for your long term health, and that’s it.

  • maqman

    I’m okay with Wedgie making his choice to leave, as noted he seems to be a nice guy – despite his John Wayne worship and we always hope for a happy ending for good people. I understand the team’s wish to only commit to one year to him and his wish not to be put in a lame duck position. Next move, hire his replacement fast before off-season moves and commitments have to be made. Forget Brown and Thompson, they had their stand-in shot and didn’t show much. Simmons might work for one season. Four candidates nobody will mention but I like: 1. Brendan Ryan, he’s got what it takes as long as he’s not a player/manager. 2. Terry Francona is certain Jason Giambi would be a great manager, I’d at least interview him. 3. Bryan Price the M’s former pitching coach and now doing the same for the Reds. He’s smart and speaks Spanish and the players really liked him. 4. Raul if he doesn’t insist on playing, he’s smart, knows the players and game and how to get them fit. Any of them should make better in-game assessments than Wedgie.

  • Unk

    I’m glad he’s gone too Casey. Not because he was a “bad” manager, but, because he was a non-managing manager. He really didn’t do any managing as far as I’m concerned. At the first of every season we always heard about how much speed we have on the team and how we’re going to run, run, run. Never happened (possibly because of our lack of base runners). You can blame the few base runners we had, but, doesn’t the manager put the plays on? I don’t blame Wedge for all of it, it’s happened with every manager we’ve had for the last decade or so. My question is this, WHO we gonna get to replace him? We’ve tried experienced managers, we’ve tried inexperienced managers, we’ve tried everyone except the vendors. That goes for players too. Why is it that the majority of managers and players seem to tank when they arrive in the Emerald City, no matter how much or lack of experience? I’m wondering if ownership might be to be partially to blame. I’m thinking we could use a Mark Cuban or that type of owner. Someone who’ll build a baseball team and not just a seat filling team. I’ll be real curious to see who they go after for the next manager and or players.

    • Rebecca Stephens

      Maybe they’re hire the former Phillies Manager and former Phillies Pitching Coach, Charlie Manuel and Rich Dubee. The Phillies host the Mariners in August 2014, I’ll definitely be there. I like the Mariners, my sister lives there and we went to a Mariners/Angels game this summer. I think they have potential plus Raul Ibanez..we miss him in Philly. :)