Wedge, entire coaching staff dismissed

By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
http://castrovince.mlblogs.com
http://www.twitter.com/castrovince

As expected, the Eric Wedge era is over.

wedgefired.jpgWedge and his entire coaching staff have been dismissed. A press conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET today at Progressive Field to announce the moves.

It is my understanding that Wedge has known about the move for several days, while the coaches — including hitting coach Derek Shelton, pitching coach Carl Willis, bullpen coach Chuck Hernandez, first-base coach Luis Rivera and third-base coach Joel Skinner — were informed following Tuesday’s rainout.

Wedge and his coaches are all expected to remain aboard for the season’s final six games, which includes today’s doubleheader against the White Sox and the four-game trip to Boston to close out the year.

The Indians will still be on the hook to pay Wedge somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.3 million in 2010.

Larry and Paul Dolan met with Shapiro and assistant GM Chris Antonetti over the last few weeks to discuss many topics, with the managerial situation a major item on the agenda. It had been speculated that ownership would push the front office for a managerial change.

Regarding Wedge’s eventual replacement, an internal hire is considered highly 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 the staff will stay aboard, if the new manager sees fit.

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.

Plenty more to come on Indians.com today and tonight.

UPDATE (8 p.m. ET): Plenty of quotes and analysis on the main site tonight…

The mainbar on the moves is here.

A feature on Wedge’s graceful departure is here.

An early (and that’s the operative word) look at the managerial opening and what the Indians are looking for is here.

Player reax are here.

Coach reax are here.

Also of note today, reliever Joe Smith had successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to remove loose bodies. The Indians said he’ll be on track for normal baseball activities in Spring Training.

That’s it for the blog tonight, but we’ll catch up in Boston during Lame Duck Weekend.  

33 Comments

Send ‘Em Skinner, sent packing… thank the Lord! This was a bigger deal than Wedge, to me.

Smart. At least next year will be interesting … I’ll be most curious to see if a different pitching coach is able to fix Carmona, and get more consistency out of Sowers, Laffey, Masterson, etc.

Perfect photo, AC.

This is good news, however, the market for experienced winning managers seems thin.

for those of you stuck on the potential of John Farrell it should be mentioned that despite his contract being locked up until 2010 it was reported by Buster Olney that IF Farrell were to approach the Red Sox and ask to be let out of his contract that they would allow him to do so much like last year when the Pirates asked Farrell about their managerial opening. He just happened to decline that option.

AM, I’ve got to think that if Farrell really wants the Cleveland job the Red Sox will let him go … Farrell obviously has some Cleveland connections so it might be something he’d really like to do, and it’s an opportunity that won’t be there in 2011. If he wants the job and the Red Sox don’t let him out of his contract, they’d just be angering one of their employees, for what, one more year of service? Personally I’d like to see Farrell come in for the obvious reasons, the player development experience and the pitching experience he brings is perfect for their needs.

given the choice between Showalter and Farrell I’d take the former. Just my opinion though. This will be a long, drawn out process b/c if the FO has a desire to talk with Farrell they obviously won’t until the Red Sox season is over.

Seems rather unfair to blame Willis for Carmona and Laffey. Especially without giving credit to the two CY Young winners he produced. Wedge got criticized for changing line ups all the time but when the GM puts the roster together with multiple platoons in place what else can you expect. No manager in the world could win with Dellucci/Michaels and Nixon/Gutierrez platoons flanking Sizemore. It’s Farrell or no one. The $1.3 mill still owed to Wedge means they can’t afford an established manager. They’ve got to take a chance on a rookie manager and low-ball him on his salary. 2011 – Believe

AM, very simple, Farrell is one of the most intelligenht baseball men in the business. Notice I said Baseball men. Eric Wedge is not, he was a guy who had a cup of coffee in the big leagues and treated his managerial tenure like this was the Minor Leagues. John has shown he can coach by being the pitching coach of the 2007 World Series champions and he has a love and passion for this game that will translate to the field. He still knows this organization frontwards and bakwards and could have been our pitching coach if Wedge hadn’t been so stubborn to keep Carl Willis.

yes they will AM. They ARE going to take their time in finding the manager, I guarentee that. I think Farrell is at the top of a very short list for them. Showalter might be on there, but he’s not as high as Farrell is.

Replace Shapiro with Pat Gillick and watch the heads spin.

fof, while I was not a fan of the Gutierrez trade from the first moment it came down I can be critical about a guy that couldn’t seem to hit a curveball. However, Gutierrez’s comments about not knowing his place nor given any room to make mistakes and grow are significant and epitomize EW’s tenure here. Mismanagement.

546 AB, 80 R, 21 doubles, 18 HR, 66 RBI, 44 BB, 119 SO, .280 BA, .336 OBP, .757 OPS. I’d take that from a 26 year-old gold glove caliber outfielder who has accumulated a third of his career ABs in this season alone. He’s growing and he said flat out that he under-performed here b/c of the pressure that was put on him. At least he manned up about it.

Can someone explain to me WHY everyone is in love with John Farrell? Yes, he held a position here. But he’s a pitching coach with no managerial experience. And the one thing fans seems to be clamoring for (personality, not the grinding it out mentality) I don’t know if anyone can effectively say that he’s got that edge we crave.

Here’s a paragraph from ESPN’s write up:
“The Indians are expected to begin interviews for a new manager in the weeks ahead. Among the names that figure to be mentioned are Boston pitching coach John Farrell, former Indians manager Mike Hargrove, former Arizona manager Buck Showalter and Torey Lovullo, who managed the Indians’ Triple-A Columbus franchise.”
AM, I think Farrell gets press because a) of all of the problems the Tribe has had in the last few years, nothing has been worse than the pitching, so a manager who knows pitching would be a plus b) Tribe fans love home grown people, and he still lives in NE Ohio in the off-season c) he’s coming from an organization that not only has a track record of winning, but of professionalism. There could have been a huge dust up when they brought in Victor, but Francona has dealt with the situation perfectly, playing guys based upon the needs of each game, not on how he feels about them or their personalities.
Although that said, I agree with you that perhaps we should go in the direction of a guy like Showalter. My only concern is that such a manager would have been a better choice going into THIS year. Since we’re rebuilding again, a former farm director might be a better choice.

Now is it really fair to blame Wedge and his staff for this years record? When you look at your organizations plan to rebuild because things aren’t going as planned, what were they really expecting to gain. With Shapiro having a complete fire sale the past two years we might as well had played in the Big East with the team we had left. If I take off the tires on my car its not going to go down the road the same way as it should. The same can be said about the players(well not the players the owners!!) if I have to replace my tires and opt to get some wooden ones because they are cheaper yeah will do the job but not as good. Give me a break the Dolans need to pull some money out from under there beds and maybe keep/ spend on some talent if they hope to do anything again. Also lets have the players look in the mirror and say “do i deserve all the money they pay me to DO MY JOB? (Hafner) No the answer is no!!” Its funny but many think that the managers have little remotes in the dugout that control the players when they bat, or when they boot a ball in the field guess what, they don’t!!!! If I’m not performing at work I don’t blame my boss.

canton, calling Farrell “one of the most intelligent baseball men in the business” is a bit of a stretch for a guy that’s been coaching less than 3 years. Theo Epstein is a guy for that list. So is Billy Beane, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, etc. Others outside of Cleveland suggest that Mark Shapiro and the John Hart tree should be on that list. Everyone seems sold on Farrell and while I think he should be on the list to cosnider I would like to see the FO’s due diligence with this decision rather than handing Farrell the job if he says yes.

jkski, your last analogy about the mirror, little remotes and blaming your boss might be the worst thing I’ve ever read… for a sports argument that is. You rationale is totally accurate for circumstances in the real world. If I am in sales and my numbers are subpar I could say that my boss has placed me in the wrong market therefore leading to decreased sale but I also must admit to myself that I am not adapting to the situation at hand given those circumstances. No situation is perfect. Sports is different can of worms and suggesting that a manager or coach cannot affect and therefore effect a player’s performance and output is, hmmm well I’ll just say that I disagree.

The Indians are a team full of young players. Wedge is awful with young players.

On to next year.

John Farrell is more intelligent than Billy Beane. For the simple reason that Beane’s own worst enemy is his own pride. Look at how many different managers he has changed, EVEN WITH A WINNING RECORD. No, Farrell is more logical than Billy, he is more intelligent and he also had a more successful Major League career than Billy, even if Billy was the highly touted prospect. I guess Farrell already dropped his name from contention, according to Bruce Drennan, which if true is ashame. But I still see the organization looking outside rather than from within.

jkski, the problem is that Shapiro only had those fire sales because the teams were already losers. So saying Wedge should be excused because his best player were dealt away at mid-season is…well, nonsensical.
Regardless of what Wedge did right or wrong, the simple, indisputable fact of that matter is that this organization has said it plans on competing from 2011 on. Anyone who’s not going to be around then is basically just taking up space and Wedge would have been doing exactly that next year. Could he have had a positive influence in some way next year? I’m sure. He’s at least professional enough not to undermine whoever would have come in after him. But it makes no sense to begin a rebuilding process with a targeted 2011 end date with a lame duck manager (or third baseman, but I believe I’ve beaten that dead horse enough).
Every decision they make needs to be based on 2011, so regardless of what Wedge has done right or wrong, this was a necessary move.

Losangelesclevelandfan, I still say this team can compete next season. Think of what the Minnesota Twins did the year they traded their franchise players, Johan Santana and Torii Hunter. They did that through pitching, defense, and timely hits. No reason the Indians can’t do that next year, and especially now they got rid of a manager who has a track record of slow starts, that has a better chance of accomplishing.

We all saw this coming… so it really should be no big shock. I just want to know why Shapiro is not included in this cut?

Nicole, Shapiro gets to stick around because of his record with trades. Sure, I think most of us would counter that record with his rather disastrous record on free agent signings, but given the team’s financial situation, free agent signings aren’t going to play a big role in the future, whereas trades have and will.
Sure, we could complain about the Lee and/or Martinez deals, but as of right now we still don’t have a large enough sample size on the guys we acquired to say those trades were good or bad — and, at the very least, they saved the team money.
Now, if none of the guys we got in those deals are helping us to win come 2011, then we can make a clear cut statement that the trades were bad.

Cantonguy, while I don’t think we’ll compete next year, that’s not my rationale in using 2011 as the watermark. I’m using it because it was the year the FO chose and, since these decisions are all theirs to make, I’m basing my response on that.
Basically, my though process is “they say we’re going to compete from 2011 on, so is this a smart move to make if that’s the plan?”

Any chance Rick Manning is still considered a member of the coaching staff?

I know the organization said that, but you can’t say that to the young team right now, or I should say heading into 2010. You can’t tell them “We won’t compete this year, but look out for 2011″ plus there is no guarentee that 2011 will even be a contending year. Instead you tell this team “Play the game the right way, pitching, defense, and timely hits. We can even take this division, let’s go”. THAT is the way to go about it. And I hope with a new regime, that attitude is there to say to the team, let’s play our hearts out, do the right things, and we’ll see what happens. Again, follow the same model as the Minnesota Twins.

hey if Carmona can pitch like this next year, maybe they do have a chance in 2010. Looks more like the Carmona I remember, he’s got some sick movement today, as evidenced by the guy who actually threw his bat at the ball when he struck out.

I think Grady Little should be on the short list of candidates for the Tribe. Spent many years in the Braves organization developing young talent before coming to Cleveland in the late 90’s as the bench coach for Charlie Manuel. Had success in Boston and in LA before getting forced out by a future HOF manger in Joe Torre.

Cantonguy, of course you don’t say that to the team (although it was already said publicly) and of course you go into next season with the mindset to compete, but, again, I’m trying to hold the organization to their word. They’ve said they have a goal, so all decisions must reflect that goal. Honestly, the idea of competing next year isn’t antithetical to the idea of competing from 2011 on, but IF we compete next year it must be in ADDITION to competing the years following, not as a 2007 surrounded by two bad years.
Dumping Wedge now was a good move for the future and all decisions from here on out should be made the same way.

ST, Fausto is such a big key to our rotation it’s kind of scary. Part of the “waiting until 2011″ idea is, I think, based upon the fact that we don’t have an ace, and the hopes that someone coming up could fill that role. Fausto darn near was our ace at one point, and having him return to form would truly turn the team around. Still, we’d need a healthy and back to normal Westbrook and the reliable Laffey in that rotation, too, to think about making a go of it.
We have a lot of “ifs,” but maybe the stability of a new manager will help things.

Um, seriously? This is what we get from our starters the day it’s announced the coaching staff is leaving? I mean, ONE quality start would be something to say “huh, how funny,” but then THIS?
I realize it’s coincidence, but geez, we should have fired him months ago, if this is the result.

LOL…yeah but remember Wedge had different lineups out there and well, the offense played like it. It’s nice to see both Fausto and Masterson dominate though.

I may be the only one on earth, but I think Wedge should have been kept. Is it his fault the bullpen couldn’t get a hamster out in April (which is what knocked us out of the race so early)? And who would have done better in September with a roster with 50% rookies? I think Brantley, LaPorta and Crowe are going to be studs eventually. We just have to hope for some of the dozens of pitchers we got this year will pan out. You want to can the coaches? Fine. But Wedge gets a raw deal here.

I guess I’m also the only one on earth who doesn’t want Farrell. I’d rather have someone who has managed at least 1 game in his life.

James, Wedge’s performance in September doesn’t really matter.
And, like I said, regardless of what you think of Wedge, his contract was up after next year. So then you have to ask yourself, are we going to bring him back after an eight year term which has produced exactly one post-season appearance? No. So why wait?

james, I’m not ga-ga over Farrell either but I wouldn’t go so far as you did to say that I don’t want him. He has attributes that we think can be utilized here, especially on the pitching front. Farrell would represent the “external” hiring that most of us, including AC, believe will be targeted but on the flip side you cannot deny his connections to the organization. Thus, he’s technically external with an internal origin.

One thing I haven’t heard being discussed from the CCs is the idea that Travis Fryman is the organization’s choice for manager-of-the-future. He’s been in Mahoning Valley for some time, 2 years I believe, and his ascension through the system could represent their true intentions. While Farrell is glamorous would it really surprise anyone if the FO went in the direction of a guy like Showalter/Randolph/Liddle/Hurdle/Yost for 2-3 years only to have Fryman replace him? It’s an interesting concept that is getting pub in other circles.

and in case you weren’t scoring at home, the two managers of the year from 2007 are unemployed

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