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Wedge, Zduriencik and the trouble with being in limbo

By Shannon Drayer

General manager Jack Zduriencik has one more year to see if his plan to rebuild the Mariners organization will translate to success at the big-league level while – from the sounds of things on Wednesday – manager Eric Wedge very well may not.

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With a year remaining on his contract, Jack Zduriencik might have a hard time bringing in a new manager should be fire Eric Wedge. (AP)
Wedge said that he could have clarification on whether or not he will be back as soon as Thursday or at the latest next week. Regardless of the outcome, the organization looks set to launch into another year of limbo, one more year to see if things are working.

Two years ago was the year of youth. This year was a surprise second year of getting the kids experience with the new twist of bringing in the second wave when injury or underperformance knocked out the first. Next year appears to be the year of seeing if that second wave can take the next step forward and what impact two of the Big Three can have. If it works, great. If it not, then what?

Running a franchise year to year is troubling. Wedge pointed out Wednesday that he was brought in to do a job and his belief was that job takes time.

"I got here less than three years ago," he said. "This is what we are doing. This is what we are committed to and you have got to have strength. You have got to have conviction with what you do. If someone else is sitting in this seat tomorrow they are going to be in a decent situation moving forward."

Wedge has been consistent with his message of sticking with the youth and having the patience to let the youth develop through thick and thin, from day one to his media session Wednesday. He has been fully on board. He has played the cards that were dealt to him and believed that he was doing things the right way in handling a group of kids, many of which came to the bigs with very little minor-league experience.

As I wrote in my earlier post on Zduriencik coming back in 2014, my biggest concern is this: if not Wedge, then who? A team that has gone through three managers in five years and has a general manager who has just one year remaining on his contract will find it nearly impossible to bring in a manager with any kind of track record.

For me, if you believe in this – even if you believe in this only enough to give it just one more shot, which is what a one-year deal tells me – don't you dig in? One-year deals, general manager in, manager out, reads more as indecisiveness. I would much rather hear, "Hey, we blew it and we are going to fix it," or, "Dammit, we believe in this and are a few moves away," regardless of what I believe about either.

Obviously there are fingers to point, questions to be answered (and believe me, the media is trying to ask them) and circumstances to take into consideration when a team puts up four consecutive losing or last-place seasons. In this situation, however, when you are talking about a development plan, I am not sure how you say it is sort of working.

We should get the answers we are looking for in the next week. Eric Wedge would clearly like them yesterday.

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