There are conflicting reports swirrling right now that the Mariners have settled on Detroit Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon to be their next manager. The Puget Sound Business Journal — of all sources — had the scoop before anyone on the Mariners beat, which is sort of odd, but not totally.

Seattle Times out-going beat guy Geoff Baker (if you haven’t heard, Ryan Divish will be assuming that role at the end of this month) and FOX Sports’s Ken Rosenthal and CBS’ Jon Heyman would chime in with these tidbits:

I was a little hesitant to trust the original source. While Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln is known to have close ties to the publication, I don’t know why he would leak that information and why they would report on it, especially if the normally tight-lipped front office had yet to inform any of the candidates of their decision.

Heyman, of course, is a much more reliable reporter on such matters. Then again, he could have heard the news from the same source, so who knows. Right now we’re left to guess that Lloyd McClendon is probably the next Mariners manager, but maybe not.

What kind of manager will McClendon be? No one really knows, because it’s impossible to know how any man will manage a group of 25 other unique men and personalities, especially when we don’t even know who those 25 men will be yet — let alone how talented they’ll be.

Dan Szymborski pointed out one thing that I do vaguely remember: McClendon was a big fan of base running.

The Mariners have been linked to interest in one Jacoby Ellsbury. Okay, that’s extreme assumption work on my part, but hey, who knows, right?

The other thing I remember about McClendon is when — during a tantrum with umpires after a disputed call — he yanked first base out of the ground and took it with him to the dugout. So, he might have a little Lou in him, too.

While this sort of feels like a re-tread pick, that assertion might not be very fair. McClendon managed some pretty awful Pirates teams before being shown the door. There’s no reason to think he couldn’t do a better job with a better roster, because that’s true for every single manager out there. We may not know how he’ll manage a bullpen, or construct a lineup, but we do know that in most cases these issues are resolved when the man making those choices doesn’t have to constantly tinker because the players aren’t getting the job done.

The players will determine the narratives. If they hit, McClendon may get some credit. If they don’t, he might be the next fall guy.

It’s nice to have this portion of the off-season out of the way. Now, go build us a winning roster, Jack.

Jason A. Churchill


  1. Hey there everybody….

    The PI-er Formerly Known As rocketdawg31 here. I’ve bene gone awhile but am back in the fold! I am in agreement on the “kinda less than yay” vibe surrounding McClendon’s hire. I hope I’m wrong, but I would’ve preferred Tim Wallach myself.

  2. McClendon struggled with a young team and an upper managment who was not doing anything right to change the atmosphere in Pitt. Not to far off from who the M’s are now. Which to me isn’t a good thing. McClendon melt down could be in the future. Unless JackZ pulls it off.

  3. Of all the major sports a Manager in Baseball effects the games least. As oppossed to a College or Pro Football coach. His major job is club house control, mood, tone and knowing when to call for a reliever and or for a stitch hitter or hit and run among other calls. And as you said does not do any free agent moves or trades for that matter. A Manager in baseball is a mid range move. As to trying to fill holes in a team that has 7 legit holes to fill. It comes down to upper what Lincoln and Armstrong allow JackZ to do. In turn what JackZ can do.

  4. I disagree. Free agency is a minor point, when compared to making the right trades. Not everything can be done in free agency, because Seattle doesn’t have enough control over who they sign. As we saw last year, Jack had to be creative via trades to bring power in, because he had no control over where Hamilton would choose to play.

    Because a player is a free agent, doesn’t mean that they are automatically available (other than in principle) to Seattle. Jack has to have backup plans.

  5. Free agency and trades, if they give him the tools I imagine he can do the job. If the tools are blunt he can’t build much. The PS Biz Journal obviously has an in with a senior exec or owner, someone Z can’t squelch. Now it is on Z to go get the tools, but only if they give him the payroll to work with, if they don’t it’s on Howie, Chuck and the owners. He’s been working with one of the all-time best in Leyland, if he trusted him I do too.

  6. Not a huge Yea!! Feeling. More a wait and see attitude. Don’t think it matters wwho they bring in right now. It is all about what they do this year in free agency.

  7. I thought he had an advantage, because of his previous experience with the Pirates. From some bits and pieces I’ve read on the internet, he gets a lot of credit as Detroit’s hitting coach, and Lord knows we need help in that area.

    I don’t think you can put much into the fact that he was given some pretty crappy rosters in Pittsburgh and it was hardly a surprise that he didn’t turn them into world beaters. Let’s hope he does a good imitation of Bob Melvin after he left Seattle. I think first time Managers are a bit of a risk. It gets down to clubhouse management. He’s got to be better than Wedge’s coddling of the kids.

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