Well, since Lou left the M’s have had as their field manager a Bob, a Mike, a John, a Jim, a Don and a Daren. Now, it’s Eric’s turn – here’s hoping that turn lasts a l o n g time.
|Jack Z introduces another “W” (AP)
Official Press Release
Drayer | My Northwest.com
How did he get here? In lightening-quick fashion it turns out. Jack Zduriencik started out with a list of 59 names. He was looking for someone who had experience, someone who had won before, someone who had leadership ability and what he called a no-nonsense approach. He did his due diligence, spoke with trusted allies, former players and Wedge’s former general manager, Mark Shapiro. Then he spoke to Wedge himself. In addition to having the qualifications he was looking for, Zduriencik saw something else.
“When you’re sitting across from someone you want to see who they are, you want to feel the accountability, the work ethic, the passion and the character,” Zduriencik said. “Quite frankly, that is what I saw.”
Zduriencik added: “He’s not going to be me and I am not going to be him, but the passion I think is there for both of us. Where we are going, there is a process to get there. We both understand it. There are going to be times when I will judge him and say, ‘OK, I understand your point, we will go with it.’ There will be other times when he will have to say, ‘OK Jack, you have the bigger picture than I do. I get it.’ His experiences and my experiences are different and that’s good. He said that in the interview process that he did his homework on me, who I was, where I came from. Now, does it work? Is the ability there to come together? At the end you think it works and you go with it.”
LaRue | The News Tribune
“When Eric left to fly home, we talked it over and I called him just as he was walking in the door,” Zduriencik said. “I asked him if he’d enjoyed the visit, liked the city, had a good time.
“Then I asked him, ‘How would you like to be our manager?’ He said, ‘Jack, I haven’t put my suitcase down yet.’”
About to start his third year in Seattle, Zduriencik found in Wedge all the criteria he’d listed when the search began.
“I wanted experience, a winning track record. I wanted toughness, I wanted someone with discipline, a leader,” he said. “I was looking for the kind of leader to turn our players over to, and we found him.”
Wedge, 42, had interviewed with three other teams and was considered a finalist for two, but when the Mariners offered the job, he didn’t hesitate.
“For me, it just felt right. I can’t put it into words. It was just a good feeling I got here,” Wedge said. “I love the energy of the city, of Safeco Field. I’ve seen it from the other side. It’s electric.”
Brewer | The Seattle Times
The Mariners are finally committing to the kind of solid rebuilding plan that the people have clamored for forever, but they arrived at this eureka too late for anyone to acknowledge it. There’s a statute of limitations on doing the right thing, apparently. The Mariners are so tardy to the party that they’re forced to reason with a crowd drunk on outrage or, worse, apathy.
So, there has been only a tepid response to the hiring of manager Eric Wedge, even though his track record suggests he can develop those young players that fans are desperate to see mature. And general manager Jack Zduriencik, who just completed a bad but not devastating season, is a polarizing figure, even though he’s mostly building the team in the proper manner. And the Mariners will likely have one of their youngest, but most precocious, rosters in 2011, but assuming they don’t win a lot, it will be difficult for fans to chase their frustration with patience.