Saturday, October 16, 2010

MARINERS: Eric Wedge will build the team from the ground up

Lots of Mariners fans don't agree with me on the hiring of Eric Wedge. Many fans wanted a big name, like Bobby Valentine, to take control of the M's, get assertive, and eventually win. Actually, I bet half of the fans don't even know who Wedge is at this point. So because of that, they think Eric Wedge is a bad hire.

I beg to differ.

To Continue...

Wedge was the Cleveland Indians manager from 2003-2009, a pretty long run by most standards. When he took over, the team was budding with stars like CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, and Victor Martinez. He won 90+ games with the Indians in 2005 and 2007, even reaching within one game of the world series in the 2007 ALCS, only to lose three straight and eventually lose to the Red Sox.

It looked as if the Indians had finally turned the corner and were coming out of obscurity.

Then the Cleveland management got "cost efficient."

Most of their star players were nearing the end of their contracts and in store for a big payday. So instead of re-signing these players (Sabathia, Lee, Martinez) and probably being good for the next five years, they traded them away for prospects. Eventually, they came to the point of not having much good players left, hence them losing 96 games in 2009 and Wedge getting fired.

So why would Wedge be a good fit for the Mariners? He will not put up with the "I'm better than you" behavior that Chone Figgins and multiple other players displayed, like Don Wakamatsu did. He is a fiery guy, so he won't back down from what he believes in.

But the number one thing he will not run into is this: Letting upper management do what they want against his wishes. He ran into that in Cleveland and saw all of his players traded away, even when they were still competitive. Wedge was fired in Cleveland for something he didn't want to do or actually did, and that was trade the players. So if Howard Lincoln or Chuck Armstrong aren't willing to spend those extra bucks to get that bat Wedge wants, they will hear about it from him.

The calm, quiet guy in the dugout is gone. We as Mariner fans need to welcome Eric Wedge in and give him a chance. Let him install his system, get his guys, and start from the ground up. The Mariners will most likely be bad in 2011, but they have a future. Just like in Cleveland, Wedge will try to bring the Mainers from the ground up, from the farm.

A nation isn't supposed to be huge when they just form it. Look at the United States. The nation really just started from a couple of farmers in Jamestown, Virginia in 1601. It almost took 250 years for the U.S. to become a world power.

That should be the Mariners philosophy. Start on a farm in Tacoma and bring the goods to Safeco Field in hopes of building back the Mariner nation. We just need to wait and watch the team grow together, slowly but surely, into a great nation again.

Reach Nathan Parsons at