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Signed Manager Eric Wedge to a three-year extension

If I haven't said much about Wedge over the years, it's not because I'm avoiding talking about him; it's because I don't have a a strong opinion on him either way. He's not a fiery on-field manager, he's not a good quote source, and he's not controversial. He goes out of his way not to react to events on the field. Which is probably a good thing in dealing with players over a long period of time, for the last thing they want is for their manager to bring their issues into the public eye. But it doesn't really clue us outsiders into what's going on inside the clubhouse.

To me, the most important aspect of managing is not the on-field decisions, but dealing with people. Yes, we all love those brilliant or not-so-brilliant tactical moves that sometimes decides a game, but they in reality play little part in the long-term success of a team. Getting a young player or an underperforming player to buy into a system and become a productive contributor is much more valuable than a pitching move on April 16th or even September 16th. The problem with all this is that we know little of how Wedge actually operates behind the scenes, other than viewing the finished result on the field. He has more input than a manager usually has in personnel decisions, but those decisions are ultimately Shapiro's to make.

There's been very few public incidents on Wedge's watch, the only major one being Milton Bradley's expensive cab ride, and time has shown that this was more Bradley than Wedge. Wedge publicly criticized Jhonny Peralta late last season, and Jhonny showed up this year in better shape and has played very similar to how he did in 2005. Players generally like playing for him. He was Grady Sizemore's biggest advocate, but Brandon Phillips' biggest critic. He's slower to give a good young player a starting job than I'd be, but most of the time he'll eventually do it. He's patient with players that have track records, whether they be of the major-league or minor-league variety. And sometimes he's patient beyond what the track record indicates. He's neither an innovator nor a troglodyte, eschewing the bunt but very orthodox with reliever usage. In other words, he's your typical major-league manager.

What does this add up to? Wedge looks like a competent manager, he gets along with Shapiro, and the team's winning. Hence the extension.

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