Wedge tells Mariners he will not return in 2014

Wedge tells Mariners he will not return in 2014

Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 27: Manager Eric Wedge #22 of the Seattle Mariners waves to the crowd on Fan Appreciation night prior to the game against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field on September 27, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. Earlier in the day Wedge announced he would not be returning in 2014.

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by Associated Press, KING 5 Sports & Mariners.com

KING5.com

Posted on September 27, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 27 at 11:53 PM

SEATTLE -- Seattle manager Eric Wedge has told the Mariners he will not return for next season.

The Mariners said Friday that Wedge will manage the final three games of the season against Oakland.

"I accept Eric's decision not to return and thank him for his hard work here the past three years. I want to wish him and his family all the best in the future," general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a statement released by the team.

Wedge was brought in to replace Don Wakamatsu -- who was fired during the 2010 season -- because of the track record he built in Cleveland taking the Indians through a rebuilding process and nearly leading them to the World Series. But the rebuilding never seemed to end in Seattle with a constant influx of young prospects from the minors being called up and some veterans failing to meet expectations.

Seattle, which has never reached the World Series, entered the final weekend 70-89, assured of its fourth straight losing season.

Wedge complained this week that he felt he was left "hanging out there" by the organization on his status for 2014.

"But I'm coming here and doing my job," Wedge had said Wednesday. "You know how passionate I am about this team, and these players in particular, and this organization. The unfortunate part about how it's being handled is the effect it has on the players. That's why we're all here, is for the players."

Seattle was on the fringes of contention in July, winning eight straight games, when Wedge suffered a minor stroke.

He was helped off the field during batting practice on July 22 and was rushed to a hospital. He was diagnosed with a mild stroke the next day and began a monthlong recovery process that called for changes in his diet, exercise and dealing with the stress of his occupation. Robby Thompson filled in while Wedge was out.

News release from the Seattle Mariners:

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Earlier today Eric Wedge notified the Seattle Mariners that he has chosen not to return to manage the club in 2014. He and the club agreed that he will manage the team for the final three games of this season and will fulfill the remainder of his contract (which expires October 31, 2013). The 2013 season was his third in the position.

Executive Vice President and General Manager Jack Zduriencik said, “I accept Eric’s decision not to return and thank him for his hard work here the past three years. I want to wish him and his family all the best in the future.”

The final three games of the season will be played at Safeco Field in Seattle against the Oakland Athletics. The series begins tonight at 7:10 pm PT and continues with 1:10 pm PT games Saturday and Sunday.

Wedge was named manager of the Mariners on October 18, 2010. He managed the Cleveland Indians for seven seasons (2003-2009).

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