This afternoon, Eric Wedge told the Mariners that he would not be their manager in 2014. Managers don't typically just suddenly quit, but Wedge's unusual decision appears to be but one example of the uncertainty currently in the air in Seattle. Here are some reactions to Wedge's departure.
- Wedge's odd-seeming decision to quit the Mariners' managerial job is part of a broader trend, writes CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Justin Upton rejected a trade to Seattle last offseason, and Josh Hamilton turned down a large contract offer from the Mariners last winter as well (although he ended up getting a bigger one from the Angels). That the Mariners dodged bullets in both cases (Taijuan Walker would have been involved in the Upton deal) misses the point, Heyman says. The problem is that, increasingly, big-league players and coaches do not seem to want to work for the Mariners. Heyman also notes that Wedge may not have seen the situation in Seattle as a long-term position, given the possibility that he would have been dismissed when GM Jack Zduriencik lost his job anyway. He also notes that now that the managerial job has been vacated, the Mariners won't have the easiest time filling it, given the possibility that Zduriencik will be dismissed within a year.
- Zduriencik was "quite surprised" when he learned Wedge was quitting, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports. Zduriencik also says the team never actively considered letting Wedge go, even though the Mariners had not extended Wedge's contract. "I think Eric had known I was in his corner and would like to have him back," Zduriencik says. "I think there were a lot of things he and I were going to talk through in relation to the ballclub and the direction…but again, the thought process of not bringing Eric back just wasn’t there." Zduriencik does note that he and Wedge would likely have had trouble seeing eye-to-eye on an extension for Wedge.
- The Mariners' next manager is likely to be someone from within the organization, Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner writes, since top candidates from outside won't want the position. Ted Simmons, who is a senior adviser to Zduriencik, and bench coach Robby Thompson appear to be first in line for the job.