How In The Hell Does Eric Wedge Still Have A Job?

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Much much earlier in this season (back when I was still writing about baseball) I made my second annual predictions about which managers would be fired during the season. I missed Clint Hurdle, like I think many of us did, but with Cecil Cooper getting the axe this week, 3 out of my 4 tomato cans have gone down. Which begs the question: Why haven't the 61-90 Cleveland Indians made Eric Wedge one of our nation's myriad unemployed?

Mired in a ten game losing streak, Cleveland management can't argue it's too late in the season. Cooper got his walking papers two days ago. And the current issue losing streak isn't even the issue. They haven't been closer than ten games out in the division since June. And they were lousy last year! But Wedge is seemingly immune to any of it. In this Cleveland Plain Dealer blog post by Starting Blocks (that can't be his real name) we hear that wins and losses should actually have nothing to do with whether Wedge keeps his job.

The few wins in the last several weeks have been inconsequential, and the many recent losses mostly impact what the record books will show for the 2009 Cleveland Indians.

A decision, for instance, on the managerial future of Eric Wedge shouldn't hinge on whether the Indians lose 20 or lose 25 of their last 30 games. It's been all about the young guys learning how to play in the big leagues.

I'm not totally sure what Mr. Blocks means by this, but I think it's that since Wedge and the Indians are so far out of contention they play lots of youngsters, so wins and losses aren't Wedge's fault. That's the kind of logic that keeps you living in Cleveland.

What a lot of this boils down to is that, like in any "FIRE THAT BUM" story in baseball, is that only a share of the blame rests on the manager but someone has to be held accountable. In this case, with all the optimism and the decent amount of money spent by The Indians this winter once Wedge is gone, people are going to have to take a cold hard look at Mark Shapiro. Just like I've been since we started this site. And you know what happens then. He gets fired too. So if there's been any pressure from ownership to fire Wedge before this point, one would have to think that Shapiro has been standing in measured opposition trying to make his last couple house payments. And I think that may be the answer to this post title.

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Wedge should have been gone after last season. He seems completely incapable of developing the young talent, worse he has no idea that he should be doing so. Long after the playoffs were out of reach he sat prospects in favor of over-the-hill journeymen. Hey dipshit, we don't care if we're 20 games under five hundred or 30 under. Quit managing for posterity and look towards the future.

Shapiro has made his mistakes but I still cut him some slack. Moves like signing Pronk long-term would be nothing more than a red mark in the ledger for Cashman, it's only in a small-market situation that they become critical mistakes.


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