Eric Wedge interviewed for the New York Yankees managerial job. Is he a good candidate?
The New York Yankees are in the midst of their first managerial search in quite some time. Joe Girardi was in town for an entire decade before being let go following the 2017 season. To their credit, the Yankees have had a continuity at the managerial position that doesn’t happen often. Since 1996 they have had exactly two managers, Joe Torre and Joe Girardi. Most teams would be jealous.
But now it is time to find a new one. There have been a lot of names bandied around but we hadn’t heard much about actual interviews. Well, the interviews have begun with two candidates coming in last week. The first was bench coach Rob Thomson and the second is our subject here today, Eric Wedge.
When I saw the name I thought I remembered it but couldn’t place it. So, who is Eric Wedge and would he make a good manager in the biggest city out there?
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Wedge was a player, playing 39 games in his professional career. It’s not long, but the games that he did play in the field he was a catcher. We have talked in the past about how being a catcher is a good pedigree for a manager since they see the entire game all the time. You can learn a lot behind the plate.
His managerial record is a tale of two lifetimes. The first is his time with the Cleveland Indians. Wedge managed the Indians for seven years, from 2003-2009. The Indians won 90+ games twice, 93 in 2005 and 96 in 2007. Wedge took his team to the post season in 2007 after the Indians 96 win performance. His team beat the Yankees in the ALDS, but lost to Boston in the ALCS in seven games.
His final record in Cleveland was 561-573. Wedge took over the Mariners in 2011 and led them through the 2013 season, but it didn’t go nearly as well. The team never won more than 75 games over the three seasons, giving Wedge a record of 213.-273, ending his time in Seattle at that point. He decided to leave after “front office turmoil”, which would have effected his ability to manage effectively.
Cleveland was more of a rebuilding situation, and that is where Wedge excelled. Does that mean his work in Seattle is an indication that he won’t succeed in New York? Possibly. They still have a lot of young talent, making them reminiscent of a rebuild. The key would be whether or not Wedge could handle the big stage of New York. Brian Cashman is going to have the candidates meet the media to get an idea if they can handle the scrutiny of New York.
It’s not a bad idea, and if Wedge holds up, he should get serious consideration.