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Cleveland Indians

Wedge assured of job through season

By Sheldon Published: July 5, 2009

   CLEVELAND -- As far as General Manager Mark Shapiro is concerned, it's time for the speculation about Eric Wedge's future as manager of the Indians to stop. ¶
   ""Eric and his staff will be managing and coaching this team for the remainder of the season,'' Shapiro announced Sunday. ""As I've said all along, the responsibility for the disapointment of the season doesn't rest on one person. ¶
   ""The responsibility is spread equally among the players, the front office, Eric and his staff. I thought it was important before the second half that I remove a potential distraction.'' ¶
   Shapiro's words were good news to Victor Martinez, the Indians' representative to the All-Star Game. ¶
   ""For me, that is great news,'' he said. ""And not just for me. I think I speak for my teammates. Wedgie always worries about us, and he makes us play the right way. He's a great manager. He's always been there for us.''  ¶
   Shapiro's declaration was not intended as either a long-term endorsement of Wedge's work or as a warning that he has three months to turn the Tribe around or face the consequences. ¶
   ""At the end of the season, talking with Larry and Paul (onwers Larry and Paul Dolan), there will be a more comprehensive evaluation done across the board -- players, front office, the coaching staff, the manager -- and if we feel there are ways to improve the team in any capacity,  we won't be afraid to make a change. Just as if we felt changes would impact the club now, but we don't. ¶
   ""Right now, we have a lot of work to do in terms of wins and losses and the development of our young players. Nothing has changed. But since this (controversy about Wedge) has the ability to be a distraction, I want to stop it.'' ¶
   Shapiro mentioned that he had spoken to Larry Dolan and his son Paul, club president, about making his public declaration. Was he was merely informing them or asking permission? ¶
   ""It wasn't one meeting or one conversation,'' the GM said. ""Discussions about the team with ownership are constantly ongoing. It was a natural progression to say I want to make this public, and are you OK with that?'' ¶
   Shapiro has said more than once that Wedge does not deserved to be fired. ¶
   ""Nothing has changed,'' the GM said. ""The tone of what I'm saying -- that responsibility is totally shared -- has not changed. I just think it's important to do this so there will be no potential distraction and to ensure accountability. ¶
    ""Today is just an accentuation of what I've said before.'' ¶
   BACK IN THE ROTATION -- Even though is last two rehab starts were clinkers, Aaron Laffey will come off the disabled list and start Wednesday against the White Sox. ¶
   ""He was getting his work in and he also was working on some stuff,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ""I think this is his opportunity to be heard.'' ¶
    Laffey has been on the DL since May 23 with a right oblique strain. He has been in the rotation and the bullpen, but Wedge prefers him to as a starter. Laffey's return puts in jeopardy the roster spot of Toma Ohka, who has filled in as a starter three times. ¶
   NO SUCH LUCK -- Starting pitchers with 4-8 records seldom make the All-Star Team, so Cliff Lee wasn't surprised when he was left off the American League squad, despite a 3.45 earned-run average. ¶
   ""All I can do is go out and pitch,'' he said. ""If I get picked, I get picked. if I don't, I don't.'' ¶
   Lee has been victimized by a lack of support from the offense all season. ¶
   FARM FACTS -- Stephen Head had three hits, including a homer, and drove in two runs, but Columbus lost to Toledo 7-3. Matt LaPorta had three hits, including a double. *elip Paolo Espino gave up two earned runs (three total) and seven hits in six innings in Kinston's 4-3 loss to Wilmington. *elip Delvi Cid and Nate Recknagel each had three hits in Lake County's 5-3 win over Greensboro. Mark Thompson and Donnie Webb homered. T.J. McFarland (5-3, 4.19 ERA) gave up two runs and five hits in 52/3 innings. *elip John Allman had two hits and four RBI, and Jason Smit had  three hits and one RBI in Mahoning Valley's 10-2 win over Jamestown. *elip Jesus Brito doubled, tripled and drove in two runs, as the Arizona League Indians defeated the Brewers 8-1. Alexander Morales (2-0, 1.84 ERA) gave up onde run in five innings, striking out eight. ¶

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