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February 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Eric Wedge delivers message about accountability, focus and continuing to learn the game

Mariners manager Eric Wedge and some of his players spoke after today’s workout about the early morning message delivered before the team took the field for the first time as a full squad. Wedge had been anxious about striking the right note.
The workout itself was gotten in under windy conditions. You’ll see some of that in the video above as Greg Halman has to struggle to keep the batting cage from blowing away. But the workout was completed just before the skies opened up. It’s now pouring.
Erik Bedard and others got in their final bullpen sessions before camp switches to some different routines in the days ahead.
When it was all done, Wedge spoke about the message he delivered to players in an hour-long, closed door session.
“You need to make sure you let them in in regard to what’s important to me, and what I’m passionate about,” Wedge said. “And then, ultimately, they have to understand what’s expected from them. What they’re accountable for and what they’re responsible for. And what the expectations are for them on a daily basis, but also throughout the course of this spring and ultimately once we get into the season.
“Right now, we’re just talking about on a daily basis this spring. And so, you’re trying to set the tone for that.”
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Wedge stayed away from talking about last season.
Instead, he talked about “the kind of team that we want to be. And the kind of team that we’re going to be here in time.”
Mariners third baseman Chone Figgins said it’s the kind of message he’s heard delivered in prior spring trainings.
“But everybody has their tone in how they say it,” he said. “Some guys are softer, some in-between and some a lot stronger.”


mari02192011 010.JPG
In Wedge’s case, Figgins put him in the “in-between” group, saying the manager spoke about: “Just understanding the game and learning and continuing to learn it. And understanding about how to come together and play as a team.”
Figgins said such messages are important if players take to it.
“As a player, you have to be motivated anyway and when a manager speaks like that, it motivates you even more.”
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Time will tell how motivated the Mariners are this season and whether Wedge’s words will resonate beyond spring training. After all, talk is one thing. But unless the team’s management and coaching staff is prepared to back it up when stuff hits the fan, it’s just so many words.
For now, the message has been delivered.

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins

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