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Mariners tap Wedge; La Russa back with Cards

October 19, 2010

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— Eric Wedge is returning to baseball after a year away to face the challenge of another rebuilding project.

This time, it’s with the Seattle Mariners.

Wedge was officially announced Monday as the Mariners’ seventh manager since 2003. His charge is rebuilding a franchise a decade removed from its last playoff appearance and coming off a second 101-loss campaign in the past three seasons.

“Eric brings the energy, passion and leadership that we think is important as we move forward and he has a track record of winning at the major-league and minor-league levels,” Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a statement.

Wedge, 42, has gone down the road of rebuilding a struggling franchise before. He was asked to do it twice during his seven seasons as manager in Cleveland, where in 2007 he took the Indians to within one victory of the World Series.

After a year out of baseball, Wedge is ready to jump back in.

“I think this is a terrific opportunity and I am excited to be a part of it,” Wedge said. “Seattle is a great city for me and my family. With the fan support, the ballpark, the ownership and management, the Mariners are in a great position to be very successful.”

• In other major-league managerial news, Tony La Russa ended the usual postseason suspense, agreeing to a 16th season as St. Louis Cardinals manager.

The team announced a deal Monday that included a mutual option for the 2012 season.

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