I mentioned it in the game post but, of course news like this deserves it’s own . . .
It was reported after the game today that the cause of Eric Wedge’s dizzy spells on Monday during batting practice, and his subsequent hospitalization, was a very mild stroke. The good news is that he is expected to make a full recovery but, he needs to rest and relax. So, that’s what he’ll be doing as the Mariners play their next TEN games ( home vs. the Twins and away vs. the Red Sox and the Orioles). Bench Coach Robby Thompson will be taking the helm in Eric’s stead.
Sometimes it takes an event like this to really understand the impact a player, coach or manager has on a team and from some of the thoughts in this great piece by Jerry Brewer, it sounds like impact-full is a bit of and understated adjective with regard to Eric Wedge.
He’s a patient taskmaster who has a feel for when to kick and when to comfort. He’s just as loyal to his players as he is demanding. And in an era of rampant second-guessing of the Mariners, he is their most voluble evangelist, preaching the virtue of this youth-based plan, sharing a vision that many are too skeptical to see, talking positive even during the gut-wrenching moments.
Consider Wedge in total, talk to people who work with him daily, and you’re left to characterize him not by intimidation but by the genuine respect he inspires.
And that’s why he is receiving a clubhouse full of prayers right now.
“We’ll be thinking of him,” shortstop Brendan Ryan said. “He’ll be with us.”
Of course, any compassionate colleague would say that, but the emotions behind the Mariners’ words were real. Isn’t that Wedge’s pet word — “real”? To emphasize the legitimacy of what the Mariners are building, he often says “It’s real!” as passionately as any man has ever spoken the two words.
In the clubhouse Wednesday afternoon, the affinity for Wedge was definitely real.
“From Day One, when he took over, I feel like he’s had my back,” first baseman Justin Smoak said. “He has stuck with me, even when I got sent down to Triple A.”
“Eric is a very caring man and loves every one of those guys in the clubhouse,” said bench coach Robby Thompson, who is serving as the temporary manager. “I’m sure they return that to him.”