With the firing of Bob Melvin in Arizona, it appears it's not too early for teams to make managerial changes.
With that in mind, the Cleveland Indians brass needs to do the right thing and jettison manager Eric Wedge.
There were high hopes with the addition of Kerry Wood to the bullpen and the restored health of Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner. Now, high hopes have turned to the smell of rotten cheese as this Wedge is leaving everyone with a bad taste in their mouths.
For some reason, there are those who think Wedge is a good manager because the players like him. But the Indians don't need a friend, they need a manger.
There are times when you have to be the bad guy, the confidant, the head cheerleader, and the military strategist.
Wedge has never mastered the strategy part.
I could go on all day about his numerous blown managerial moves, but I'll be merciful and leave it at two.
Exhibit A: In four career starts against the Red Sox, Jeremy Sowers is 0-3 with a 7.48 ERA, all in Boston. Why, then, would you start him at Fenway Park yet again? Only Wedge, and possibly general manager Mark Shapiro, know for sure.
Exhibit B: Wedge starts Shin Soo Choo at DH and benches Ryan Garko, a right-handed batter, against a lefty. Choo, a left-handed batter is horrible against lefties, while Garko is hitting over .300 against them.
C'mon Eric, what were you thinking?
Wedge always has the Tribe off to a slow start and we have to play catchup the rest of the year to make up for horrible Aprils. I'm fed up with close but no cigar.
Torey Lovullo, manager of the Indians' Triple-A affiliate, is highly regarded. He's worked with many of the current Indians players and is worth considering as a replacement.
Then there is the guy who almost got the job over Wedge: Joel Skinner.
Skinner spent six seasons managing in the minors for the Tribe. He's a multiple Minor League Manager of the Year award-winner, and five of his six teams made the playoffs.
Since 2000, he's been the Indians' third base coach, giving him a greater knowledge of the players over anyone else who could be hired.
I'd take my chances with either of those two over Wedge's losing ways.
Whoever gets the nod, be it an insider or someone from outside the organization, needs to develop a set lineup and define the players' roles. Not knowing what is expected of you on a daily basis can make things tough for younger players.
Wedge is a master of multiple lineups for no apparent reason.
Yes, it's early in the season, but the longer we wait, the bigger the hole to climb out of will be.
It's time to toss this rotten cheese Wedge in the trash.
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