Mariners manager Eric Wedge has seen enough. After keeping his patience-level in-check the first two weeks as the losses piled up for the Mariners, he could not contain his anger following today’s 7-0 defeat to the Kansas City Royals.
The Mariners stranded 11 on base and went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, wasting an outing by Felix Hernandez. Seattle also didn’t play all that well defensively behind their pitcher and Wedge hit his breaking point by the time the day ended.
He called for an impromptu team meeting, stood at the center of it and let fire.
When the clubhouse doors opened to the media, several minutes after the usual 10-minute post-game waiting period, it was silent inside. No jokes. No music. A handful of players — Jack Cust, Adam Kennedy and Brendan Ryan — sat in one corner of the clubhouse likely discussing what had just taken place. They stayed in the same seats for a good half-hour.
In his office, Wedge was frank.
“That’s the problem, it’s the same thing, different day and it’s unacceptable,” Wedge said. “We’re not going to keep watching this. We’re going to get better and we’re going to address it, obviously, as we’ve been doing as a team and individually, but we’re going to get better. We’re not going to keep doing what we’ve been doing here.”
Wedge was asked what he can say to the players.
“You’re doing the work, but ultimately you’ve got to take it into the game,” he said. “I want them to have the mindset that’s aggressive and such to where we’re up there ready for anything. Anything and everything. Whether it be at home plate or out in the field or wherever it may be.
“I don’t want to be in-between. In-between doesn’t win ballgames.”
The Mariners have won just two games since winning their second in a row in Oakland two weeks ago today. One of those wins since was a bit of a miracle, with the M’s coming from 7-1 down in the eighth to beat Toronto last Monday.
Without that, they’d be 1-12 their last 13 games. Not that 2-11 is anything to brag about.
“I don’t think we’ve been in it for a little while in regard to what I’ve been seeing,” he said. “We’ve done an OK job of getting runners on base. But we’re leaving about eight to 10 on when we do that. You’ve got to finish off ABs. You’ve got to finish off innings.”
He added that: “We’ve got to stick together on this. But we just didn’t play good baseball at all today. That’s what (ticks) me off more than anything. We just didn’t play very good baseball.”
I asked Wedge whether he’d shared those opinions with his players post-game. While he said he’d never tell the media exactly what was said behind closed doors, he did say: “Yeah, I had a few choice words for them. I’m not real happy right now. I made it real clear how we’re going to go about our business here.”