Tribe dismisses bullpen coach Isaac
Aide had been with organization in various roles since '65
CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Eric Wedge announced Tuesday morning the first move of what should be a hectic offseason for a ballclub that went into the 2008 season with great expectations and didn't fulfill those expectations, saying he'd dismissed bullpen coach Luis Isaac.
The announcement came as a surprise, because the 62-year-old Isaac, bullpen coach since 1993, had been one of the linchpins in the Indians' organization. He joined the Tribe in '65 and served in various roles at the Major and Minor League levels.
Wedge said his decision to remove Isaac as bullpen coach wasn't one that he came to overnight. Nor was his decision about trying to place blame on Isaac for the lack of success of the Indians' bullpen this season, Wedge said.
Calling Isaac a loyal soldier and praising his contribution to the organization, Wedge said the decision was less about Isaac and more about what the bullpen needed to thrive, which was a different "dynamic" than what Isaac brought to the coach's role.
"Change is inevitable," Wedge said. "It's something we put a lot of thought into in regard to what we felt we needed to have happen down there. So we needed to make that change."
Wedge stressed that he told Isaac that the change wasn't made because of anything the veteran coach had done wrong. His consistency had long been important in bridging the differences over the years between various managerial regimes.
But the organization and its needs had changed in terms of what Wedge was looking for in his bullpen coach, and he didn't point to one reason for why he decided to replace Isaac.
"It's everything -- everything that happens from day to day," Wedge said. "As you break down your season into different parts and different departments, we look at it in every way. That's how we feel is the best way to make decisions."
He said he planned to look at three or four candidates -- both inside and outside the organization -- to fill Isaac's job.
"It was a tough decision I had to make," Wedge said.
Justice B. Hill is a senior writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.