Wedge Speaks M’s Listen?
Coming into the 2012 season, the Seattle Mariners have made it their goal to let everyone know from the start of spring training that manager Eric Wedge would be holding players more accountable for mistakes he would consider to be egregious.
After consecutive 90 loss seasons that seemed a rather obvious stance for the franchise to take.
With a team as young as the Mariners are, eventually you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands. As we were witness to on Monday, Wedge did just that.
Benching Brendan Ryan for booting a play which led to two Texas Rangers runs that completely shifted the momentum in the game. Eventually the Mariners would relinquish the lead in the 4th inning, and ultimately lose that game 11-5.
In the following days after the benching, Wedge went on in more detail about the stance he took with Ryan saying that he felt it was necessary to take the approach he did because this wasn’t the first time this season that Ryan has been lackadaisical in the field, and much like with Shawn Kelley earlier in the season, these mistakes will not go unnoticed.
Okay fair enough.
Then during last night’s ball game (Game 2 vs. Texas), on a ground ball to third base that looked to be routine, Kyle Seager was eaten up by the ball that eventually ricocheted off his body to the shortstop side.
Luckily for the Mariners, Blake Beavan was able to work around that to keep Texas off the scoreboard.
After the game while discussing the play, Wedge sounded more lenient towards the youngster, almost sounding like he was giving Seager a free pass for his fielding miscue.
Do you see the potential problem?
When Eric Wedge goes on television talking about accountability as this season isn’t about getting your feet wet in the majors. It’s about showing up to the ball park ready to win. Not just hoping to win, but ready to win, he’s sending the message that accountability is 100% across the board.
That it doesn’t matter if you are a rookie, or going into your second season, or a veteran, you will be held accountable as a team. By doing so, he has publicly put himself in a position where he cannot be hypocritical on the subject.
He is walking a fine line where losing your clubhouse is a distinct possibility.
It’s one thing to publicly comment on Shawn Kelley‘s hanging slider to Yoenis Cespedes and it’s another thing to publicly comment on Brendan Ryan‘s fielding gaffs, but to not publicly hold Justin Smoak or Miguel Olivo accountable for their hitting issues.
Things that are just as egregious.
Or not holding Kyle Seager to the same accountability standards to that of Ryan, it can breed animosity inside the clubhouse and is hypocritical of Wedge.
It’s gives off the impression he’s playing both sides of the fence, and that act alone can be offensive to some players or down right disrespectful.
I’m not saying that Wedge’s approach on accountability is wrong.
As a matter of fact, I like that Wedge has the gumption to publicly drop names, but again, there is a fine line that he cannot cross with players.
I do not necessarily see this as being a year long problem, but we also know how professional athletes can be on the subject of disrespect.
Only time will tell, but one thing I do know, for the time being, Eric Wedge is in charge.