Eric Wedge Takes High Road in Exit Interview

wedgeWhen it comes to Cleveland and baseball, we will always have the chicken-egg debate.  Is it the manager, or is it the players?  And when asked the same question during the 1:30 press conference today, Eric Wedge said that he tried to do his best with the hand he was dealt over the last seven-plus seasons. 

ESPNCleve/WKNR’s Michael Reghi questioned the slow starts that have plagued this team over the past several seasons, and Wedge was quick to take the blame for his team’s sputtering out of the gate.  He was also quick to point out the successes as well, but understands how the business works.  Wedge was then asked if he feels that he was given a “full, complete shot” with this team – the one that traded away two Cy Young winners.

“I’m the manager of the team.  It’s my job to go out there and win ball games.  There are not asterisks that says only if you have this, that or the other.  Its your job to do that.  I’m a big believe in being accountable for what you do.  I preach it to the players, the people around me.  That’s the way I live – I take responsibility for this no different than others within this organization do as well.”

Challenges of finance and the mid-market team were very prevalent within the press conference.  Wedge claimed the two-sided argument, saying that it’s also more rewarding when you win with these resources.  But if Eric Wedge leaves the Indians and follows the same path that was given to one Charlie Manuel, will he experience similar success? 

After all, there has to be something at least remotely attractive about Wedge given his tenure with this team coupled with the lack of playoff appearances.  But how much of this downfall is his doing versus the boatload of misses that have occurred through the farm system/drafts along with the cash-strapped nature of MLB in the markets?

Only time will tell on Wedge’s future success.  The Dolans, Mark Shaprio and players had nothing but glowing remarks for their soon-to-be-ex-head coach.  And with Eric Wedge and his harem of coaches out of the picture come 2010, how long does Mark Shapiro have to turn this thing around before it is him that is having the exit interview?

  • biff

    I’ll mis his insightful interviews and warm, endearing personality the most.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Craig

    I never really disliked Eric Wedge when he was hired. I thought the philosophy was sound. I think he did a good job during the early years of the rebuild. He had an opportunity to do more the last two years and it was time to change the voice in the clubhouse.

    This is the natural order of things. I wish it had turned out better for him and for us. In the end, he was given a fair opportunity to get this team to produce. He failed to do so for just the right amount of time to lose his job. I hope he has more success in his next run as manager.

    Now, let’s hope the Indians front office gets this next round of hires right. Let’s hope he ends up with the next Tom Kelly, Ron Gardenhire, or Mike Scioscia to name a few.

    I hope whoever it is ends up finding a way to bring Sandy Alomar Jr. to the team in some coaching capacity. Alomar is currently the catching instructor for the NY Mets. Maybe he could be a bench coach or something.

  • Boomhauer

    Now that Wedge is gone, does this mean we get Brandon Phillips back, since it’s his mostly fault that we lost him (Shapiro takes some of the blame too for not overruling his manager).

  • Boomhauer

    @3 – “mostly his fault”

  • Isis

    Craig-look for an insider to be hired who will diligently follow the Dolan/Shapiro methodology. Don’t expect anything out of the current organization unless it’s somebody already with close ties to the aforementioned. You don’t have to look further than Lovullo/Sarbaugh/Hargrove now that Farrell had turned down the overtures.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com TD

    Never give into the fight.

    Grind On, Eric.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    What you kids think about Travis Fryman’s name being tossed around as his successor?

  • JD

    @ #5

    Farrell has turned down the overtures while he is a pitching coach for a team that is about to go into the playoffs.

    Once the Sox schlup their way out of October, I would expect negotiations to start kicking in to see what can be done to work around that clause in his contract. This is pro sports, which means anything in a binding contract can be disposed of easily enough!

  • mike

    “…now that Farrell had turned down the overtures”

    He did? When?

  • Windy City Wahoo

    @Scott: Only after giving Matt Williams a chance.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    Re: Farrell – I don’t think there were overtures to turn down… He’s locked into Boston for at least another year, if my memory is correct.

    Re: Matt Williams. Hall of Fame!

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    I didn’t know the guy from N.E.R.D. was a coaching candidate, but I’ll take him.

  • Eli

    3rd base coach, Busta Rhymes.

  • JD

    From the Boston Globe:

    http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2009/09/let_the_farrell.html

    The jist of the article says that it’s not so much that the Sox would not let Farrell leave…but more likely that they would try to get some kind of compensation from the Indians if the Tribe wanted to hire Farrell.

    Anyone like the idea of a Peralta for Farrell trade?

  • MrCleaveland

    I’m tired of people banging the Tribe because of Brandon Phillips. The guy was a jerk, and I say good riddance. Jerks can royally screw up a team and are usually — not always, but usually — more trouble than they’re worth.

    The Tribe also threw Milton Bradley out of here and nobody’s complaining about that. Think the Cubs are sorry they signed that schmuck to that fat contract? You betcha.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Jacob Rosen

    Travis Fryman is currently the Mahoning Valley coach and just finished up his second year there with a runner-up trophy in the NYPL championship. Aeros skipper Mike Sarbaugh seems like a more logical hire if the organization wants to go with an ex-Indian player (he played for the Aeros) and successful minor league manager.

  • B-bo

    Pitching coach: Li’l Jon–YEAH!

  • tsm

    1. Tony Pena – He was a fiery player, and would be a good choice.
    2. Travis Fryman
    3. Sandy Alomar
    4. Omar Vizquel – one more year as a player manager.

  • Jon S.

    I disagree with Isis (as per usual). I would think there is no way they hire within the organization right now. Everybody’s too green/young. But they WILL hire a “company man”. Shapiro has no interest in “old school” managers who bunt/steal and “manage” their teams to failure. Shapiro also wants to run this team from the front office, so I’m thinking no major name.

    My prediction (barring Farrell): Jose Oquendo. And I kinda like it.

    BTW, I still say Wedge was a good manager and a classy guy. He’ll manage again, and soon.

  • Isis

    Jon S-all I ask is that you observe what happens. Undertand the modus operendus of Dolan/Shapiro. Don’t think for a minute they will hire someone from the “outside” who will question their modus.

    Disagree all you want, but observe. (and remember, I fended off for months all those who printed that Wedge would be back).

  • Isis

    As for you comment about Wedge managine again and soon……observe. Mr. Twitchy will be somebody’s bullpen coach at best.

  • mike

    tsm – you left out Kenny Lofton, Albert Belle, Paul Sorrento, Charles Nagy, Carlos Baerga, Wayne Kirby, Alvaro Espinoza, Jesse Levis, Chad Ogea, Albie Lopez, Paul Assenmacher, Julio Franco, Kevin Seitzer, Danny Graves, and Herbert Perry.

  • MrCleaveland

    Maybe Shapiro could crawl on his belly and beg Charlie Manuel to come back. And bring Luis Isaac with him.

  • Goodman

    If we win one more game against the Red Sox and make the series, how more rope would Wedge had?

    2 years removed from manager of the year, Shapiro executive of the year to wedge gone and shapiro probably on the block next…..only in Cleveland

  • feel

    speaking of that boston series; i can still remember seeing shapiro smiling up in his luxury box as the commentators went on about what a sound organization he was building….

  • DKH

    Isis,

    Do you want to actually quote some people who printed that Wedge would be back? Because otherwise I’m tending to disbelieve you.

  • Jon S.

    Isis, I knew he was going to be fired. They needed a scapegoat, and managers make great scapegoats. Wedge was the fifth longest tenured manager in MLB at seven years. That means they almost always take the fall, whether it’s right or wrong.

    And it’s “modus operandi”; not “modus operendus”. If you’re gonna try to sound smart, get your Latin right.

  • http://cleveland.com The Provoker

    How can you fire Wedge and not Shapiro???
    The Dolans look alot like Randy Lerner, a confused,worthless owner who doesn’t have a clue. Hey, let’s hire Mangini before we hire a GM…..LMAO

    Shapiro should be gone too.
    TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE personne drafts. Trade TWO CY YOUNG pitchers for guys on the DL…and on and on and on .

    NO Mike Hargrove either. If they do that , I’ll jump. Hargrove had the best etam in 1995. 100-44….and they choked. 1996 choked against theOrioles. 1997 choked against the EXPANSION Marlins