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Eric Wedge announces resignation, won't be back in 2014

Eric Wedge is moving on.

Otto Greule Jr

When Steve Sandmeyer passed on that Eric Wedge wasn't going to return in 2014 a few weeks ago, it didn't come as a surprise. Earlier this week, when Wedge started throwing upper management under the bus, that wasn't exactly a surprise either. Today, the Mariners announced that Wedge won't be returning for 2014, though it's being framed as Wedge leaving under his own terms.

The writing was on the wall for Eric Wedge, and all arrows are pointing to a situation where Wedge could announce his departure today, or the Mariners could make the announcement for him in a week. This isn't a Jim Riggleman and the Nationals situation - Wedge will walk away from a team where he was only under contract for three more days. He really isn't walking away at all, his contract is just expiring and both sides will go their separate ways.

Wedge commented today that an extension was on the table at some point, or at least there were discussions - but it doesn't seem he wanted to do the lame duck thing, which was fine with Z.

The managerial search will begin after the season concludes, and it's going to be an interesting one. Given that the front office is still in a bit of uncertainly with Jack Zdurencik's extension only running through 2014, it's entirely possible the Mariners promote the next manager from within instead of going outside the organization and making a splash.

I never really had that big of a problem with Eric Wedge, relatively speaking. I think everybody has a problem with every manager, and the Mariners have had far more objectionable managers than Wedge, and probably will in the future. Wedge's bullpen management was middle of the road, he didn't bunt nearly as much as Don Wakamatsu, and while the lineup construction left something to be desired on a daily basis, there never seemed to be a motivation problem with the players. Sure, he favored veterans with playing time and with positive comments, and often pointed the finger in weird, incorrect ways - but the most important part of management is keeping players playing hard, and that seemed  (from an outsider's perspective) to be something Wedge had a decent grip on. There are a few things that drive me up a wall with managers - ones who over-manage and bunt incessantly, and ones who manage pitchers poorly. Wedge wasn't a prime offender of either, though he wasn't perfect at them either. Hardly anybody is.

As always, this news will be celebrated by many, but we should know by now that the grass isn't always greener. The Mariners can do a whole lot worse than Eric Wedge, and they just might. They might also do better, or they might get somebody who's about the same, field a more talented roster, and watch that manager get praised as being better at his job than Eric Wedge. Such is the endless cycle of major league management.

Here's the key takeaway: Milton Bradley didn't get arrested under after he was out of Eric Wedge's watch. Success, Eric.

The timing of this news bumped Colin's post on Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln, so make sure to check that out.


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