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Eric Wedge moderates his “sabermetrics harmed Dustin Ackley” comments

May 30, 2013, 11:33 AM EST

Eric Wedge, Paul Emmel AP

Geoff Baker allowed Eric Wedge to expand on his controversial comments from the other day in which he appeared to accuse sabermetrics of ruining Dustin Ackley, leading to his demotion. The nut:

“When I bust somebody’s chops or make a joke about it, you can take it in a light-hearted way or you can take it personally.  Quite frankly, I don’t care either way. But the fact of the matter is, sabermetrics is a part of the game of baseball. It has been for a while.”

He expands on that at length, talking about how the numbers do matter and how he has used analytics while managing the Indians and the Mariners. All he’s saying is that the player can’t let getting deep into counts get too far into his head if it means he isn’t going after pitches he is capable of hitting squarely.

Which is entirely reasonable. It’s not at all what he said the other day — and I didn’t detect any jokes in his comments from the other day — but this seems like a much better hill to die on for Wedge than the one he was defending previously.

  1. danaking - May 30, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    These guys have to say a lot of stuff in the course of the day. Wedge’s track record on these kinds of things isn’t great, but his explanation is reasonable. He should get the benefit of the doubt, since he’ll surely say something dumber than this soon.

  2. stex52 - May 30, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    I thought I detected a thread of what he is saying here in his comments before. Admittedly, he expressed them poorly.

  3. andreweac - May 30, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Wedge just lost his Willingness to Win.

  4. raybrower - May 30, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    That mustache makes me think he owns a bunch of Harley Davidson shirts and headbands but no Harley Davidson.

    • tfbuckfutter - May 30, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      That’s weird.

      Because it makes me think no one ever explained to him how a mirror works and he just thinks that crazy Koran burning preacher from Florida is just always on the news on those flat TVs with no channel knobs.

  5. Mark - May 30, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Wedge – “All he’s saying is that the player can’t let getting deep into counts get too far into his head if it means he isn’t going after pitches he is capable of hitting squarely.”

    Even that explanation doesn’t make sense, because saber is about being aggressive in the zone and laying off bad pitches. It’s not just about being passive and taking walks. So his clarification doesn’t make it any better.

    ““You can’t wait for the ball to be released, and then decide if it’s going to be a ball or strike, then decide if you’re going to swing. It’s just too damn quick. You have to be in a hit mode, you have to be in a yes yes yes yes mode, and then decide to stop your swing or not. ”

    This is what I mean. How can you not recognize if the pitch is going to be a ball or a strike? That’s a terrible approach Wedge is suggesting. That’s what leads to a lot of weak contact, if you’re generalizing swing at everything. Major league hitters have to be able to control the strike zone and recognize if a pitch is going to be a ball or a strike.

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