Yet another 90-l0ss season is in the books for the Mariners after tonight’s 8-2 defeat to the Oakland Athletics. The Mariners were a subdued group afterwards. They’d been told by manager Eric Wedge after batting practice that he wasn’t returning in 2014.
“It’s just tough,” Justin Smoak said. “He’s been with us now for like the last three years and he’s taught us young kids a lot. It’s tough but it’s a business and it is what it is.”
Felix Hernandez pitched his final game this year, finishing 12-10 with an ERA of 3.04. Hernandez won just one game after July 21, none since Aug. 11 and ends the season on a five-game losing streak.
“It was important to try and finish strong,” he said. “I was just trying to get a win.”
Hernandez said he was “all over the plate the first two innings” in which he fell behind hitters. He was able to regroup and begin throwing quality strikes, which gave his team a chance. Until the bullpen came on in the seventh.
Asked about Wedge, Hernandez said: “It is hard. It’s a sad day for everybody. He’s a great guy, a great leader. I don’t know. I don’t know what to day.”
Hernandez was asked what made Wedge a “great leader.”
“He’s a tough guy,” Hernandez said. “A tough man. He showed us a lot of stuff and I have a lot of respect for the guy. He taught us how to play real hard baseball.
Hernandez was asked whether he’s tired of all the mangerial switches — six so far in his tenure with Seattle and soon to be a seventh — and desires some continuity.
“We’ll see what happens in the next couple of months,” he said. “I know we’ve had a lot of them the last couple of years, but it’s baseball. What are you going to do?”
Wedge himself agreed the game was hardly business as usual.
“It’s different,” he said. “I think it’s different for everybody. But it is what it is.”
Wedge said his players were mostly quiet when he addressed them pregame.
“I told them how much I cared about them and I’m only a phone call away,” he said. “There are three games left, let’s go out and play baseball and see what happens. I just talked to them about some things that I’ve felt are important that I’ve said to them over the years, that I wanted them to take from here and take with them.
“Not just as baseball players, but more importantly as men. As husbands and fathers and sons. Just how you live your life. Those are the important things.”