Wedge: Contract not reason for leaving Mariners

SEATTLE — Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge said Saturday his uncertain contract status wasn’t the reason he decided not to return next season.

A day after announcing he would step down after this season, Wedge said he wanted to clarify his reasoning, after much of the media coverage focused on his lack of a contract for next season. Wedge had said earlier in the week he felt he was left “hanging out there” by the organization regarding his status for 2014.

However, on Saturday he said he wouldn’t have returned even if a long-term contract had been offered.

“Let me be clear here, the contract was not the reason I’m not coming back here,” Wedge said. “If they’d offered me a five-year contract, I’m not coming back here.”

Wedge entered Saturday’s game against Oakland with a 212-272 record as Mariners’ manager since he joined the team in 2011, replacing Don Wakamatsu, who was fired during the 2010 season.

Wedge said the reason behind his departure was a difference of opinion between him and the Mariners’ front office: CEO Howard Lincoln, president Chuck Armstrong and general manager Jack Zduriencik.

“Where they see the club, they being Howard, Chuck and Jack, and where I see the club, my vision of the future and theirs are just different,” Wedge said. “That’s as plain as I can make it.”

That characterization contradicts what Zduriencik said on Friday regarding differences between himself and Wedge.

“I think that was strictly related to the contract,” Zduriencik said. “In terms of our philosophy and stuff, I think we’re pretty much on the same page.”

When Wedge was asked on Saturday about Zduriencik seeming to indicate the two of them shared a vision for the team, his response was, “That’s not the case.”

“As I said, I’m not coming back here because of the contract, it’s because of how they see things and how I see things,” Wedge said.

Wedge wouldn’t say what he felt the front office’s vision for the team was, but he said his thoughts were simple.

“It’s just about sticking with the kids you believe in, adding to it and being patient. Sticking to the program,” Wedge said. “And having consistency. You have to have consistency in personnel. Every time you turn over you start over again, to a certain extent.”

Seattle entered Saturday’s game against Oakland with a 70-90 record and will finish with a losing record for the fourth straight season.

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