By Ryan Divish The News Tribune
SEATTLE — For the second straight night, the Seattle Mariners were without their manager.
Eric Wedge spent another night in the hospital, awaiting the results of tests taken on Monday evening, while undergoing more tests to determine what’s causing him to feel dizzy and light-headed. Bench coach Robby Thompson managed the Mariners for the second straight night.
Wedge was helped off the field by the Mariners’ training staff on Monday during batting practice after feeling dizzy. He was taken to the hospital for tests and observation. Thompson managed the team to a 2-1 win over the Indians.
The Mariners had no definite answers as to Wedge’s issues before the game.
“He’s doing well,” general manager Jack Zduriencik told the media, shortly after addressing the players with an update. “I had the opportunity to spend some time with him this morning. I visited him and his wife, Kate. He’s doing well. He’s in good spirits. But it’s a little premature right yet to say exactly what the prognosis is going to be. More than anything else, as a precaution, they just want to keep him another evening as they want to get the results from the tests, which are on-going.”
Zduriencik said Wedge was happy about Monday’s 2-1 win over the Indians that he was forced to miss.
“He’s in good spirits,” Zduriencik said. “He said to tell the team, ‘Keep on playing baseball, and that I’m here watching and pulling for you.’ He’s a tiger. He’s a trooper. And though he’s not here, his heart and soul are here.”
All baseball players have a stubborn streak, and Wedge’s is larger than most. He wasn’t happy about being taken to the hospital on Monday. But Zduriencik said Wedge is following doctors’ orders and understands the need for it.
“He’s resting and I think that’s a good thing,” Zduriencik said. “He’s being smart about this. Eric is Eric. He understands to just wait and see what this is.”
Thompson did not speak with Wedge personally. He talked with Kate Wedge for updates.
“He is resting peacefully,” Thompson said. “He’s been up and down a little bit and the dizziness is not as bad. We’re just hoping it continues to get better with each hour. Hopefully we’ll know a little more later on today or after the game this evening.”
Wedge did send a message to Thompson through his wife to “throw the same lineup out there.”
And that’s what Thompson did.
The players are obviously concerned for Wedge.
“Once you saw him walking off the field, you knew something was wrong,” said Dustin Ackley, who was in the hitting group at the batting cage when Wedge was helped off the field. “It looked like he was struggling. When you see someone having trouble walking off the field, you are definitely concerned. You don’t know what is going on.”
But Ackley said the team will simply prepare as if Wedge were there. The lineup hasn’t changed dramatically and there really isn’t anything drastically different with Thompson managing. There are enough experienced players around to make sure that things remain the same.
“This team has a lot different feel than the teams of the past with the veteran guys on the team,” Ackley said. “That’s a reason why it doesn’t change. We do have the guys who have been around a long time and they know how to react when something like this happens.”
Thompson trusts the players to handle their business as usual. Wedge has preached about turning those young players into professionals.
“They know their job is to go out at 7:10 p.m. and get between those lines and do what they do best,” he said. “We’ve been playing well as of late. They’re a bunch of professionals that know how to handle things and move forward. And that’s what they plan on doing. It’s a good group. They are pros. They are men. “
As for Thompson, he will manage it as if Wedge were ejected. He will bounce ideas and strategy off of pitching coach Carl Willis, third base coach Daren Brown, who was a long-time manager with the Rainiers and Jeff Datz, who is back with the team.
“We got it covered as best we can,” Thompson said.