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 Indians dismiss Wedge, coaching staff - 09/30/09

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PostSubject: Indians dismiss Wedge, coaching staff - 09/30/09   Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:03 pm

Indians dismiss Wedge, coaching staff
Managerial tenure in Cleveland ends after seven seasons

By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com

09/30/09 1:30 PM ET

CLEVELAND -- Seven years after it began, the Eric Wedge era of Indians baseball is over.

The Indians are in the early stages of what general manager Mark Shapiro referred to as a "reloading" period, and the reload will extend to the managerial position and the coaching staff.

Cleveland announced on Wednesday that Wedge and his coaches were all relieved of their duties. Wedge and his staff will stay aboard for the season's final six games, including the four-game set in Boston this weekend.

According to a team source, Wedge had known his fate for several days, while the coaches -- including pitching coach Carl Willis, hitting coach Derek Shelton, bench coach Jeff Datz, first-base coach Luis Rivera, third-base coach Joel Skinner and bullpen coach Chuck Hernandez -- were informed of the moves following Tuesday's rainout against the White Sox.

The Indians, who will be on the hook to pay Wedge in the neighborhood of $1.3 million in 2010, are in the midst of an organizational review. Team owner Larry Dolan, team president Paul Dolan, Shapiro and assistant GM Chris Antonetti have been meeting to discuss, among other things, the managerial situation. It had been speculated for weeks that ownership might push the front office to make a change in the dugout.

Once the season is over, the Indians will formally begin the search to replace Wedge. An internal hire is considered unlikely. If that's the case, then the Tribe will go outside the organization to hire its manager for the first time since John McNamara took over in 1990.

It is possible that some members of Wedge's staff will stay on, if the new manager sees fit.

Eric Wedge

Indians manager Eric Wedge was relieved of his duties Wednesday after seven years at the helm. Among the 39 full-time managers in Tribe history, Wedge ranks fifth in wins, third in losses and fourth in games managed. Here is how he fared during his seven seasons:
Year
Record
Pct.
Finish
200368-94.4204th
200480-82.4943rd
200593-69.5742nd
200678-84.4814th
200796-66.5931st*
200881-81.5004th
2009**64-92.4104th
Total**560-568.497




* Advanced to ALCS
**Through Tuesday
red = years with more wins than losses

With a 64-92 record entering Wednesday's doubleheader against the White Sox, the Indians are wrapping up their worst season since going 68-94 in 2003, which was Wedge's first year at the helm. The club is in danger of finishing in last place in an American League Central, which it had high hopes of winning coming into the season. The Indians have never finished last in the history of the Central. The last Tribe team to finish last in its division was the 1991 club that finished seventh in the AL East.

Regardless of where the Indians finish, '09 can safely be labeled one of the most disappointing seasons in club history. And the fallout of that disappointment has been a major upheaval in player personnel.

The dismissal of the 41-year-old Wedge is the first major change among the organization's higher-ups, and it serves as the Tribe's mea culpa, of sorts, to a fan base frustrated by the recent trades of star players Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez. Wedge, the 2007 AL Manager of the Year, had been a frequent target of fan criticism throughout his tenure, and that criticism became even more pointed this year.

At one time, Shapiro and Wedge were seemingly joined at the hip. Shapiro picked Wedge, a former catcher with the Red Sox and Rockies, to be the club's skipper after Wedge spent five years managing in the Tribe's farm system. Shapiro often referred to Wedge as his "partner."

That partnership, however, began to erode over the past two years, as the Indians entered the '08 and '09 seasons with high hopes, only to find themselves out of contention by the All-Star break. Slow starts, in general, have been a major knock on Wedge. His Tribe teams went a combined 73-96 in April.

Still, when the heat on Wedge was particularly scorching at midseason this year, Shapiro doused the flames by announcing that Wedge and his coaching staff would remain aboard for the second half and be evaluated at season's end.

But whereas the '08 club rebounded with a strong second half to reach the .500 mark, this year's team has floundered in September, sealing Wedge's fate. The Indians recently ended an 11-game losing streak that fell one loss shy of tying a club record.

In seven seasons, Wedge has compiled a record of 560-568, with one division title and playoff appearance in 2007, when the Indians finished one win shy of the World Series. Among the 39 full-time managers in Tribe history, Wedge ranks fifth in wins, third in losses and fourth in games managed.

When it comes to candidates to replace Wedge, former Tribe pitcher and farm director and current Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell has been a popular possibility listed by fans and the media, though he has no managerial experience at any level. But according to a recent report in FoxSports.com, Farrell has a clause in his contract that prevents him from accepting a managerial job with another team until after the 2010 season. However, a subsequent report in The Boston Globe indicated that the clause could be removed if the Red Sox received some sort of compensation.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Indians dismiss Wedge, coaching staff - 09/30/09   Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:49 pm

Get out Wedgey!!

My friend tried to tell me that our staff isn't that great. But we are in first last I checked. And we have made the deals to get us there, have we not?

Whether I like to say it or not, Dombrowski and Leyland shouldn't be yelled at for getting us here. Everyone trashes em (me included, not to self-incriminate, but I'll be truthful) but they do get us to where we need to go: the postseason.
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PostSubject: Re: Indians dismiss Wedge, coaching staff - 09/30/09   Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:03 am

gdennis59 wrote:
Get out Wedgey!!

My friend tried to tell me that our staff isn't that great. But we are in first last I checked. And we have made the deals to get us there, have we not?

Whether I like to say it or not, Dombrowski and Leyland shouldn't be yelled at for getting us here. Everyone trashes em (me included, not to self-incriminate, but I'll be truthful) but they do get us to where we need to go: the postseason.

Very true, where would we be without the improved defense of a low cost glove of Everett, the low cost super glove and arm of Laird, the super pitching of Jackson, the rapid assent of drafted Porcello, Ryan Perry and Avila. (And on and on.)

Tigers have been in first most of the year... Cleveland, under Wedge, has been bad.

Wedge has only had 2 winning years in Cleveland.... but I don't totally blame him for this year, they dismantled the team out from under him and wanted him to win with what was left over. The funny thing is Chucky H. has been fired two years in a row now!


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PostSubject: Re: Indians dismiss Wedge, coaching staff - 09/30/09   Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:28 pm

lol. Something's not clicking with him.

He (my friend) tried saying that Leyland is worse then Wedgey. NO!

Leyland has won manager of the year three times, Wedge- none.

Leyland has won a ring with Florida, maybe more, but I don't think so. Again, Wedge has none. He doesn't make very good cases.
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