1) Our recent failures are not his fault.
Wedge can only fire the bullets put into his gun. The past two seasons have been disasterous because of injuries and abysmal bullpen performances. In 2008, the team actually had an okay start (something he is often knocked about) but soon had an end of May/early June swoon because of a rash of injuries and poor bullpen performance. 2009's story has been beaten to death, no need to rehash here.
2) Wedge has a proven track record of performing well with young players.
From his time in Buffalo, and the early years of coaching the Tribe, he has succeeded helping players perform up to (and sometimes exceeding) their expectations. While he shows favoritism (sometimes to the detriment of a select few players), that is inherent to any manager we are going to hire.
3) Wedge is not afraid to eliminate cancerous players from the roster.
It takes a brave manager to let players go, however skilled they may be, who are having a debilitating effect on the overall team concept.
4) Wedge has improved certain aspects of his managing style through the years.
This is strictly observation, but from bullpen management, to playing "small ball", to arranging the proper lineups. Eric Wedge has improved at a slow steady rate through the years.
5) No credible former player has spoke out against Eric Wedge.
Aside from a few infamous players, no other players (past or present) have thrown Eric Wedge under the bus. In fact, many of them have nothing but praise for him and his staff even after they leave. You would be hard pressed to find anything but praise for Eric Wedge among "baseball people" around the league.
6) The grass is NOT greener on the other side, in fact, it might be looking a little brown in spots.
With Shapiro here, given his track record, you can be absolutely sure that the next manager will be much like Wedge. Younger, unproven and most likely already in the organization. Does Luvello or Skinner really inspire you to want to see Wedge ousted? 2 years ago you could hardly find a Yankee fan that didn't want Torre fired, now they can't wait to run Giradi out of town. Is this the climate we want for our team?
7) 2010 is a non-contending year.
The only constant among young talent is that it is ridiculously up and down. The former future all-stars look like busts and the busts have career years. Of course, the stars could all align and produce a magical summer .. but there is no reason why that couldn't happen under Wedge just as much as any other first-year manager.
With that said, what is the harm in allowing Wedge to run out his contract (and give him one more shot at a full season) and see what managerial choices are available at the end of 2010? Is there somebody out there we have to jump on in the off-season of 2009 that might get snatched up?
So, that's it. 7 reasons to keep Eric Wedge for one more year. Granted the two biggies are that 1) our recent misfortunes are organizational and 2) there is no one out there that we HAVE TO get this off-season and 2010 is largely a year-long spring training season. So it may behoove the organization to delay their choice one more off-season because the next manager is likely to be a long-termer like Wedge and Hargrove were.
Give Wedgie one more chance. He can win your heart over again. Even noted baseball scholar and sage, Ken Rosenthal agrees:
One rival general manager says the only way the Indians will fire manager Eric Wedge at the end of the season is if ownership forces GM Mark Shapiro to make a change.
Some good things are happening with the Indians, who are 21-16 since July 23. But then, some good things happened last season after the pressure lifted, and the team went 32-17 down the stretch to finish .500
Wedge does not deserve to be fired — Shapiro is more responsible for the Indians' 2009 collapse — but the manager faces two problems: The Indians' slow starts the past two years and a restless fan base that never has embraced him.
If the Indians fire Wedge, good luck finding someone better. Wedge has remained a loyal, dutiful soldier through the Indians' trades of CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez. His teams have never quit, and he would become the hot manager-in-waiting the moment he was unemployed.