When Wedge and his coaches were told on Wednesday they were being dismissed, they did not hesitate to accept the opportunity to finish what they started.
"To a man, Eric and all of the staff here, we view our jobs as working with the players," Willis said. "That's what we do. We try to help these guys and put them in the best situation to perform and give them all the knowledge and guidance we can. We do it because we enjoy doing it. It's our passion."
And the coaches are passionate enough about their jobs that they'd no doubt love to keep them, if the possibility exists. That will depend on who is hired as the Indians' next manager and what he's looking for in a support staff.
"We'll see what happens," Shelton said. "You cross that bridge when you get to it."
Wedge is still under contract for 2010. Without revealing names, team president Paul Dolan said "a couple" of the coaches are under contract, as well.
The coaches all knew these moves could come. Wedge has been on the hot seat throughout the second half. And, usually, a manager and his staff go down together.
"This is part of the competitive aspect of our position here at the Major League level," said Skinner, who was beaten out by Wedge in the bid for the managerial post after the '02 season. "You have to deal with days like this. But our focus is on the task at hand. You try to put [job speculation] in the back of your mind, because you have a game that day."
The Indians have four games left. And then it's an offseason of transition that may or may not involve these coaches staying in the organization in some capacity.
"Nobody's going to cheat any of these players," Willis said. "It's only [a few] more days, but every day in the big leagues is a special time. We'll keep working."
CLE: RHP Carlos Carrasco (0-3, 9.00 ERA)
Outside of a troublesome fourth inning, Carrasco pitched much better against the Tigers on Sept. 24. Carrasco had struggled since coming up in early September, but he seemed to take a step forward. Carrasco pitched five innings and gave up four runs, but all of those runs came in the fourth when the Tigers strung together a walk and four singles. He kept the ball in the ballpark, which had been a problem, and said he felt much more comfortable than he has in his other starts.
BOS: LHP Jon Lester (14-8, 3.52 ERA)
After being knocked out of his previous start when he was struck on the right knee by a Melky Cabrera line drive, Lester will try to end his regular season by reaching the 15-win plateau for the second year in a row. The lefty had his worst start in months against the Yankees, giving up eight hits and five runs over 2 1/3 innings. In 13 starts since the All-Star break, he is 6-2 with a 3.04 ERA. At Fenway for the season, he is 6-2 with a 3.07 ERA. In his lone start against the Indians this year, Lester gave up seven hits and five runs over six innings.
Right-handed reliever Joe Smith had successful arthroscopic surgery performed on his left knee on Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic. The surgery removed loose tissue from the joint. The Indians said Smith, who last pitched Aug. 29, will begin rehab on Thursday in Cleveland and will be ready for full baseball activities in February, when Spring Training camp opens. ... Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera left the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader in the sixth inning with right hamstring tightness. Though not considered serious, the injury prevented him from playing in the nightcap. ... The Indians have lost 11 consecutive road games since Aug. 30.
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Official game notes
Friday: Indians (Jeremy Sowers, 6-10, 5.09) at Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 3-6, 6.08), 7:10 p.m. ET
Saturday: Indians (Aaron Laffey, 7-8, 3.91) at Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 16-6, 3.78), 7:10 p.m. ET
Sunday: Indians (TBD) at Red Sox (Clay Buchholz, 7-4, 3.74), 1:35 p.m. ET