That’s essentially how I take information like this, to say nothing of his quotes about the veterans not getting the job done in general.
Here’s what I don’t understand: why does Wedge have SUCH a hard-on for not allowing Ichiro to bat leadoff? Is it part of a pissing contest, where allowing Ichiro to return to his rightful spot in the lineup – a spot he made his own over the past decade in his Hall of Fame career – would be like admitting defeat and caving in to the pressure of his most successful veteran player (a guy who is perceived to have flaunted his ego in the past on such matters as playing time, playing right vs. center field, and batting leadoff vs. every other spot in the lineup; even though Ichiro has never publicly expressed his desire for anything except to be 1 of 25 guys on a team, more than willing to follow the manager’s decisions).
I honestly don’t see what the big deal is about just putting Ichiro back at leadoff. You complain about him not producing at the 3-hole, but he was never intended to PLAY in the 3-hole! YOU put him there, out of position, and then you complain that HE isn’t getting the job done.
And you know who could probably handle the 3-hole? Casper Wells. Who is the guy blocked from playing consistently because there’s a veteran in his position? Casper Wells.
Wedge bemoans the fact that he doesn’t have any veterans who can carry some of the load offensively, but I think he secretly wants to rid this team of ALL veterans (except, of course, for Olivo, because when you can have defense like Olivo’s, why would you want to start a guy who has competent at bats, and why would you want a guy who DIDN’T lead the league in Passed Balls?)
How much better would our lineup be if we had Wells in right field instead of Ichiro? Ehh, tough to say. You’re obviously going to get more power, but you’re losing out on average and likely defense.
It just seems to me that Ichiro has a shorter leash than most guys, and it’s totally undeserved. Ichiro is doing what he’s told, playing where he’s asked to play, and he’s producing. Maybe not in the traditional 3-hole numbers like RBI and slugging percentage, but just because Ichiro’s batting average with RISP is low right now doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way all season. I bet if you looked into it, you’d see that Ichiro has been remarkably unlucky thus far and his success rate will likely regress to something more pleasing to the eye.