Eric Wedge was officially whacked as Indians manager today and so was his entire coaching staff. That means fellow ex-Bison managers Jeff Datz and Joel Skinner and ex-Buffalo pitching Carl Willis are also gone at the end of the season.
In large part, today's announcement marks the final split between the Bisons and Indians. The staff and so many players that took the Bisons to two titles and six playoff berths from 1998-2004 and the Indians to within one game of the 2007 World Series are now gone.
Wedge's Cleveland teams suffered from a rash of poor starts and this year was no different. What was different was the way the Indians, who claim to be losing $16 million, unloaded key players. Cliff Lee's trade marked two straight Cy Young winners gone and there were several other pieces dealt like Victor Martinez, Ryan Garko, Ben Francisco, Rafael Betancourt and Mark DeRosa. With essentially a Triple-A team the last two months, Wedge & Co. had no chance.
The Indians would have loved to hire ex-Bison John Farrell, now Boston's pitching coach, but he has a clause in his deal that he can't take a managerial job until 2010. So it looks like an open hire. Should be interesting.