July 24, 2014

Eric Wedge: Unintentionally Hilarious Quote Machine

Mike Brown was in the media this week for being the strong favorite to land the Indiana Pacers head coaching job.  Eric Mangini, an attendee at the recent Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, was in the news this week giving his thoughts on analytics and how that could have helped him with the Browns.  The other Eric, Wedge, had to be feeling left out.  Thankfully, Paul Hoynes caught up with the former Tribe skipper after the Mariners-Indians spring training game yesterday.  And while not specifically citing “the grind,” Wedge did deliver a few classic lines which require mockery.

Hoynes sought comment on his days with the Tribe, prompting Wedgie to respond thusly:

“I’m proud of the way we handled our business and what we meant to the game.”

I actually, legitimately, honestly, laughed out loud when I read this – and it’s hard to make me laugh.  I’m not mocking this because it’s necessarily right or wrong or that I think the opposite – I mock because I just have no idea what the hell that means.  “What we meant to the game”?  As in a Bob Feller or Ernie Harwell or Jackie Robinson historic kind of way?  As in a title contending force of nature kind of way?

Thankfully, Wedge expounds, “We did it the right way. We developed human beings on and off the field. We developed good young men and strong ballplayers.”  Hmmm…still an empty quote distinguishing the Indians in no real way.  I thought Wedge was a good guy and the actual impact an MLB manager has on a team’s success is a matter of dispute, but the one thing that infuriated the fan base was his bland and monotone resistance to challenging his team publicly when alarm bells were ringing all around him.

That’s why I found these quotes so amusing – it’s nostalgic and fun to look back now that his cliches are no longer driving me insane.  In addition to the “what we meant to the game” line, Wedge also delivered these beauties:

1) “It’s not the best 25 players, but the right 25 players.”

2) “…you’ve got to make sure that you work to not just see around the corner, but to see all the way around the corner.”

3) “As long as they’re on board with the intangibles — being a good teammate, respecting the game, going about your business the right way and caring about what you’re supposed to care about….”

4) “It’s more about me coming in and setting the tone and bridging that gap and making sure we’re going about our business as an organization and a big-league club the way it should be done.”

 

Good Lord!  I was both incredulous and hysterical after getting through that minefield of profundities.

Wedge did, however, fire this shot away, concerning his time in Cleveland: “The economics didn’t work out in the end, but that’s the nature of the beast.”  Under Wedge, the Indians had some pretty talented guys on the roster and some pretty good teams that folded down the stretch and in the playoffs, of which economics played no part. As he states, however, “in the end,” economics did lead to the team being disbanded.  Just the “nature of the beast” – whatever that means.

Grind on, Mr. Wedge.  I will continue to eat up the quotes your dishing out.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Bowers

    that guy was a quote machine. FWIW, I laughed out loud upon reading this one here:

    “…you’ve got to make sure that you work to not just see around the corner, but to see all the way around the corner.”

    I’m actually laughing again right now trying to figure out what seeing all the way around the corner means. My goal this week is to use this phrase at work with a straight face and see what the reaction is. I think everyone should pick their favorite quote and do the same.

  • http://www.redright88.com Titus Pullo

    Wedge kind of sounds like Jim Tressel, just without the lying and cheating.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    The wanking motion I’m making in response to Pullo’s comment doesn’t make a sound, but it gets the point across without lying or cheating.

  • MrCleaveland

    Alas, Tressel saw around the corner, he just didn’t see all the way around the corner.

  • http://www.redright88.com Titus Pullo

    Sometimes you just have to pick the low-hanging fruit

  • LaundroMat

    “…you’ve got to make sure that you work to not just see around the corner, but to see all the way around the corner.”

    I’ll take a stab at this: you need to make sure that you work to see not just the immediate consequences of your actions, but the far-reaching ones.

  • Pat18970

    It’s not the best 25 players who need to see around the corner, its the intangibles off seeing all the way around the corner. Going about your corner peeking the right way, setting the tone early and bridging the gap between glancing and staring around the corner. I’m proud of the way we handled that and what we saw once we got around to looking.

  • LaundroMat

    I should’ve contributed what #7 did.

  • JM

    The King of All Grinders. I believe WFNY’S own TD made that name up. Classic.

  • LaundroMat

    May we coin Wedge’s words of wisdom “Wedgies”?

  • Charles

    I see no point to this article other than to give ourselves more chances to take shots at Wedge. Whatever. The vast majority of managers spew BS quotes to the media, and intentionally come off as bland and monotone.

  • Karsten

    @11 Agree. I challenge any of you to get up in front of a room full of people staring at you expectantly, and try to convey your exact meaning effectively without people taking your words, removing them from context, and bashing them heavily. It’s not like he had time to rehearse answers to questions. Thanks for leaving out the questions or comments he was responding to, giving us nothing but your own setup of “Haha, this guy says dumb things, see?” to go on. Moving along…

  • DA

    He has kind of a Ron Swanson (“Parks and Recreation”) thing going on in this pic…