Hes had plenty of practice with moving. Wedge just transported his family to the Pacific Northwest in the first half of January. It’s all part of the preparation for his first year at the helm of the Mariners.
Its a new experience for Wedge, even though he spent seven years from 2003-09 managing in Cleveland. With the Indians, hed come up through the organization, knew the people involved and had a base from which to work.
With the Mariners, its a new organization with players he either doesnt know well or at all. And he joined a team that lost 101 games in two of the last three seasons.
The learning curve ahead, both for Wedge and his team, is monumental.
“This is a lot different from Cleveland, Wedge said. “Im not as familiar with the players, this being my first year in the organization. And I have a new (coaching) staff, half of which Im familiar with and half Im not.
“Im looking forward to that. I think were ready.
One of the things about Wedge having to devote his time to moving is that he hasnt had a lot of time to spend chatting with his new players. Thats just as well. After what the Mariners went through last year, Wedge said it makes sense to give the returnees from the 2010 club some room.
“I have touched base with a few of the veterans and seen some of the guys in the clubhouse, Wedge said. “But they are coming off a bad year. Im giving them space, letting them disengage from all that. Its a matter of respect. Right nows the time to let them separate from it, then well move on.
“The grind and the toll a season takes on players is big, and some tolls are worse than others.
So what is it that Wedge will do to turn the mindset around in the Seattle?
“I cant speak on what last year was, but I know what kind of mentality I want our guys to have and the mindset that goes with it, Wedge said. “It will take some time to get the day-to-day consistency.
“I dont want to get into the mindset, but I can say the level of expectations will be high. We can go deeper into that once we get to spring training.”
John Hickey is a Senior MLB Writer for AOL FanHouse (www.fanhouse.com)