Wedge: Mariners need to embrace Safeco Field

Wedge: Mariners need to embrace Safeco Field

Wedge: Mariners need to embrace Safeco Field
SEATTLE -- Manager Eric Wedge doesn't try to ignore the offensive results -- or lack of -- in his team's home games this season, but he said the club needs to embrace playing at Safeco Field and not get caught up in the difficulty of hitting there.

The Mariners are batting .202 with a .581 OPS while averaging 2.9 runs in 34 home games going into Thursday's series opener with the Red Sox. On the road, they've hit .259 with a .730 OPS while averaging 4.7 runs in 43 games.

"You have to understand this is where we play, this is our home field and we're going to play here half the season," Wedge said. "You just have to be accepting of that. It's a beautiful ballpark. Anything that needs to be addressed will be addressed in the offseason with regard to the ballpark.

"But ultimately, you've got to love where you work. And if you want to be the best you can be, and be productive in your work environment, you've got to love coming to work and love coming to the ballpark."

Wedge and his staff have talked to their players about taking the right approach at Safeco and maintaining a positive attitude despite the hitting difficulties.

"It's just a process for these young guys. You can only control what you can control, and as a hitter that's what you do in that batter's box," he said. "Once the ball leaves your bat, it's beyond you. So I want them to just focus on putting up good at-bats, try to go up there and hit the ball as hard as they can as many times as they can, and let the rest take care of itself. That's the message, basically.

"When you can hit, you can hit. There'll be times when you struggle against one team and do well against another. There'll be years when you hit better on the road than you do at home, but once these kids get where they want to, I don't think you'll see the same inconsistency that you've seen in the past."

It's worth noting, of course, that the Mariners aren't the only ones who struggle hitting at Safeco. Seattle's pitching staff has a 3.24 ERA and a .223 opponents' batting average at Safeco this season, compared to a 4.94 ERA and .269 average on the road.