Eric Wedge says he can no longer manage the Mariners beyond this weekend. He wants to finish what he started this season, but after that just has too many differences with upper management as to where this team is headed.
“It’s gotten to a point to where it’s painfully obvious to me that I just wasn’t going to be able to move forward with this organization,” Wedge said. “We see things differently. We talked about it, but it just got to the point where I couldn’t continue to move forward.”
Wedge didn’t want to get into immediate details about those differences. I asked Wedge whether the Mariners had ever offered him an extension and he replied that after last season, they talked about a one-year extension on the table through the 2014 season.
“I told them I wasn’t prepared to do that at that time,” Wedge said. “I didn’t feel like that was the proper endorsement for a young, rebuilding team moving forward. I didn’t feel like that sent the right message to the players, first and foremost, and ultimately the fans, too. That endorsement just wasn’t there for me.”
No extension offer was ever made to him after that point.
Wedge said it’s been very difficult proceeding on a year-to-year basis and he wants to more of it.
“Like we talked about before, when you’re managing a team you’re managing men,” Wedge said. “They want to know who they’re being led by and continue to move forward. So, it’s tough on the players when you’re in that situation.”
Wedge said he felt very strongly about staying and is disapponted he won’t be able to.
“It’s tough,” he said. “It’s disappointing. It’s frustrating, it’s disappointing, it’s upsetting. But sometimes, people just don’t see things the same way and things don’t work out. It wasn’t from a lack of trying. I wanted it to work, but it’s just not going to.”
Wedge made it sound as if the team’s rebuilding plan has lost the faith of upper management. I asked him what the team needs to do moving forward.
“When you talk about building, you’ve got to have a long term view of it,” Wedge said. “And you’ve got to be patient. And you’ve got to stick with the program. Even on the worst days, you’ve got to stick with the program. Even when everybody else is saying it’s not working, you’ve got to stick with the program. Even when it’s not in your timeline, you’ve got to stick with the program. And hopefully they’ll be able to do that here. I wish nothing but the best for the Seattle Mariners and everybody involved with the Seattle Mariners. And all of the fans here in Seattle. They deserve a winner.”