Eric Wedge, whose three-season run as Mariners manager ended in an ugly way last month, is now among the candidates to replace Dale Sveum as Cubs manager.
Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that the Cubs will interview Wedge next week, bringing in the former Indians and Mariners skipper who was named Manager of the Year in 2007. Wedge has a 774-846 (.478) career record, including 95, 87, and 91 losses in his three seasons in Seattle.
Mooney notes that Wedge previously interviewed to be the Cubs’ manager in 2010, back when Jim Hendry was general manager, and Mike Quade wound up with the gig replacing Lou Piniella. Wedge, who suffered a mild stroke in August, departed Seattle by saying: “If they’d offered me a five-year contract, I wouldn’t have come back here.”
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.