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No Room for Apathy

By Jennifer Pignolet

            Up until this point, I’ve been a big fan of Eric Wedge. He’s seemed like a players coach with a drive to win and the managerial skills to make it happen. I no longer see that head coach. I understand we have had injuries and that it is nearly impossible to manage a team as inconsistent as the Cleveland Indians. But the apathy is what bothers me now. If the act doesn’t clean up with quick results, Wedge might have to go.

            Last night’s game was infuriating for many reasons. The first one being on principle – we blew a seven-run lead. Ouch. But it was the coaching decision to bring in, and leave in, Rafael Perez that really steamed me.

When a pitcher is struggling as much as he is, you do not leave him in just because you like the matchup of your pitcher and the guy on deck. It doesn’t matter if that on-deck batter is hitting .150 against lefties, as Alfonso Soriano was. You have to look at the bigger picture: who is struggling less. Matt Herges was up and ready to come in. But, Wedge liked the matchup with Perez better. When a team is struggling this much, you don’t go with matchups. You go with confidence. It’s the pitching equivalent of bunting when you’re down 10 runs.

After the game, I couldn’t wait to hear from Eric Wedge. The “Ask the Manager Show” is always entertaining when it follows a pretty tough loss, as yesterday’s game was. I couldn’t have been more disappointed with what I heard from Wedge. Basically, it sounded like he’d given up. “Yeah, our bullpen has struggled on and off all year.” “Yeah, we have to work on it.” Well, no kidding. The mental strength of this team is severely lacking at this point, and for this, you can absolutely blame the coach.