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April 10, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Jack Wilson appears to be out of Wedge’s doghouse, and other pregame notes

Jack Wilson appears to be on a course to return the Mariners lineup at second base, though he’s not in there today. Wilson met again with manager Eric Wedge today, and was out working early on the nuances of second base with coach Robby Thompson, as well as Luis Rodriguez and Adam Kennedy. Wedge’s comments today about Wilson were quite conciliatory, a stark contrast from branding Wilson’s refusal to return to last Wednesday’s game “unspeakable”:
“Jack’s our second baseman,” Wedge said. Brendan Ryan was one of the best shortstops in the National League, and he’s doing a great job out there. Jack was doing a great job at second base. Jack’s going to be back out there. We talked again today. He went out there and did some early work with Luis and Adam. We’re through all that and now we’re ready to move on. I don’t hold grudges. I never have, I never will. I don’t believe in that.”

Asked what the timetable was for Wilson’s return, Wedge said, “He’s game on as of right now. Not in the lineup, but he’s game on right now.”
Now, onto today’s lineup. Wedge said he had already made the decision to sit Milton Bradley and Miguel Olivo before Saturday’s game, and was leaning toward getting Rodriguez in there as well.
“With Olivo, we’re going to be careful with him early on,” he said. “I’m going to start giving some of these other guys some off days. Ideally, a day game after a night game. That’s where we are with Milton. I want to get Luis Rodriguez in there, give him a start. Give him a little time.
“It’s good for these guys, too, to watch a big-league baseball game. It’s good not only physically, but the mental side, too. That’s where we are.”
As for the decision to hit Kennedy third, Wedge said: “He’s a veteran guy that’s swinging the bat well. You don’t really have a surefire choice, but you want someone that can go in there and handle it, not have it get in their way mentally. He’s definitely that guy. He’s strong upstairs, and he’s been swinging the bat well.”
Asked if he felt Ryan needed a break, Wedge said: “He’s a pretty intense guy. I think every now and then to back him off is a good thing. I love his energy, I love his passion. He’s a good teammate, hard-nosed. There’s a lot to like there. He’s still working to find the player he’s going to be at this level.”
And Bradley? “You look at his physical history, I want to make sure we take care of him. I kind of felt that way about him and a few other guys. I want to make sure we give them periodic days off. Sunday’s a good day because you play Saturday night and don’t come back again to play until Monday night. We’re going to do that periodically with him as well as a few other guys.”
Wedge claims he still doesn’t know why Bradley was talking to the third-base umpire in the middle of the seventh inning. On Saturday night, he said it wasn’t a big issue.
“I’ve got enough other things going on right now,” Wedge said.
Of the earplugs Bradley was wearing during his eighth-inning at-bat, Wedge said, “That’s OK, too. Whatever works, man. Every now and again, all of us would like to put earplugs in, regardless on what job you’re in. That’s OK.”
He said it wasn’t unusual in baseball for players to wear earplugs, even at home.
“Morer people than you’d suspect, actually,” he said.
Noting that several players displayed frustration on Saturday, Wedge said, “That’s OK. That’s because you care about what you’re doing, you care about your performance, you care about your team. They’re human beings. They’re not widgets. They’re going to show emotion from time to time. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. That’s a good thing. You have to bring it back in and stay focused. That’s part of the game. What you can’t let it do is float over to the other side where you press. We have a couple of guys doing that. I don’t think as a whole, but a couple of guys.”

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan


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