In case you hadn’t heard, Mariners manager Eric Wedge was hospitalized yesterday after he experienced dizzy spells during batting practice. Wedge understandably missed the game and bench coach Robbie Thompson took over for the game. The Mariners not only exorcised their demons by beating the Indians, but in a way, they “won one for Wedge.” That has a nice ring to it.
Anyway, Wedge was supposed to come back and manage today. Reports out of the Mariners camp are saying that he’ll instead have to spend another night in the hospital for further examination, and Thompson will manage yet again tonight.
First of all, I am sending my prayers to the Wedge family and Eric, and hope that he’s going to be OK. He’s supposed to be OK though, so I’m not particularly worried. I hope he’s back tomorrow afternoon, but Thursday is probably more realistic, since tomorrow’s game is at 12:40.
From a baseball standpoint, this could be significant. Will Robbie Thompson have the power over his team to make tough decisions in a close game? We saw last night that he did not take a defensively-challenged Raul Ibanez out of left field in the ninth when Tom Wilhelmsen most certainly needed his outfield to make plays. Not that Endy Chavez would have reached Michael Brantley’s double, but when your left center gap is Ibanez and Dustin Ackley, defensive confidence gets pretty low.
Does Thompson have a command over the pitching staff that Wedge does? He’ll probably defer to pitching coach Carl Willis in tough spots, but will he be able to pull a struggling reliever out of the game before the lead goes away? You just can’t underrate Wedge’s presence in big situations.
Hopefully, the Mariners will be inspired and keep winning for their manager. If Wedge comes back and the Mariners have another sweep under their belts, who knows where this team can go?