BY John Hickey 12:01PM 01/24/2011

Wedge giving Mariners their space

New Seattle manager has finished moving his family to the Northwest and is starting to reach out to his new charges.

New Northwest resident Eric Wedge (right) wants a new feeling with Mariners. Ben Van Houten/Mariners

Mariners’ manager Eric Wedge is close to being ready to move to Arizona for seven weeks.

He’s had plenty of practice with moving. Wedge just transported his family to the Pacific Northwest in the first half of January. It’s all part of the preparation for his first year at the helm of the Mariners.

It’s a new experience for Wedge, even though he spent seven years from 2003-09 managing in Cleveland. With the Indians, he’d come up through the organization, knew the people involved and had a base from which to work.

With the Mariners, it’s a new organization with players he either doesn’t know well or at all. And he joined a team that lost 101 games in two of the last three seasons.

The learning curve ahead, both for Wedge and his team, is monumental.

“This is a lot different from Cleveland,’’ Wedge said. “I’m not as familiar with the players, this being my first year in the organization. And I have a new (coaching) staff, half of which I’m familiar with and half I’m not.

“I’m looking forward to that. I think we’re ready.’’

One of the things about Wedge having to devote his time to moving is that he hasn’t had a lot of time to spend chatting with his new players. That’s just as well. After what the Mariners went through last year, Wedge said it makes sense to give the returnees from the 2010 club some room.

“I have touched base with a few of the veterans and seen some of the guys in the clubhouse,’’ Wedge said. “But they are coming off a bad year. I’m giving them space, letting them disengage from all that. It’s a matter of respect. Right now’s the time to let them separate from it, then we’ll move on.

“The grind and the toll a season takes on players is big, and some tolls are worse than others.’’

So what is it that Wedge will do to turn the mindset around in the Seattle?

“I can’t speak on what last year was, but I know what kind of mentality I want our guys to have and the mindset that goes with it,’’ Wedge said. “It will take some time to get the day-to-day consistency.

“I don’t want to get into the mindset, but I can say the level of expectations will be high. We can go deeper into that once we get to spring training.”

John Hickey is a Senior MLB Writer for AOL FanHouse (
Twitter: @JHickey3


  • 1coolguy

    Until Lincoln and Armstrong (the only 2 consistent threads through this entire losing period) are gone, the M’s aren’t worth following.

    • 1174

      Amen, brother, until those two freakin’ idiots are gone, the M’s will continue to be excrement.

  • Sam Chowder

    Eric “The Edge” Wedge is the right guy at the right time, and instead of the M’s taking one step forward and two steps back, it’s going to be steady progress over the next several years. That will be a very nice change from the last 7-8 years, when the M’s looked like a car driving on an icy hill.

  • Michael Kaiser

    “It’s a new experience for Wedge. . . . The learning curve ahead, both for Wedge and his team, is monumental.”

    You think? Wedge has not experienced anything yet like Mariners’ baseball or our “rich” three decades-plus tradition.

  • bhamhusky

    Hickey, please write an article when the M’s are sold and/or when Lincoln and Armstrong are fired and I will begin to care about the M’s again.