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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

October 15, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Could Eric Wedge be emerging as Mariners’ man (UPDATE: Eric Wedge IS Mariners man)

Eric Wedge is indeed the Mariners’ choice to be their new manager. Read more here.

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal at FOX just tweeted that John Gibbons has been informed he’s not getting the Mariners’ job, lending more credence to the likelihood of Wedge being the choice.

The Mariners are putting a curtain of silence on their managerial hire, but it appears they have settled on their man. Just who it is remains unclear at this point, and the team can’t announce anything while the two League Championship Series are going on. Not without permission from commissioner Bud Selig, anyway. He has been known to grant it in the past. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a press conference on Monday.

So, who will they be hiring? I have been told, just as Buster Olney tweeted a little while ago, that Eric Wedge was extremely impressive in his interview. And he fits the type of manager the Mariners seem to be looking for. Wedge guided the Indians through one rebuilding campaign, to the point they won 93 games in 2005 (his third year) and 96 in 2007, when Cleveland came within one victory of making the World Series before losing three straight to the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series.

But Wedge was sunk when the Indians once again started dumping players (Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, Victor Martinez, et al) and fell to 65-97 in 2009. Wedge was fired with six games to go (he actually stayed on and managed those games after the press conference was held to announce his firing).

Let me stress there is nothing definitive yet, but there do seem to be some positive signs pointing to Wedge, from what I can gather. It would also stand to reason that the Mariners would be motivated to act quickly to nail down Wedge if he was indeed their choice, because he is the hottest candidate in MLB right now. There are seven openings, and he has been linked to five of them. In addition to Seattle, Wedge has interviewed or is scheduled to interview with the Cubs, Pirates, Blue Jays and Brewers. He has been cited as the frontrunner in Pittsburgh because of his association with their general manager, Neal Huntington, a former assistant GM in Cleveland during his tenure with the Indians.

I talked earlier today to two people in Lloyd McClendon’s camp, and they said they hadn’t heard anything.

Gibbons, Cecil Cooper and Daren Brown are the other candidates.

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