Mariners fire manager Lloyd McClendon
SEATTLE — After a season that fell short of expectations, Lloyd McClendon is out as the manager of the Seattle Mariners, the team announced Friday.
Mariners.com said Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto, citing a desire for a new energy and vision, fired McClendon and much of his coaching staff.
“In the end, I just didn’t feel it was a very good match,” Dipoto, who was hired to replace Jack Zduriencik two weeks ago, said on Mariners.com. “I respect Lloyd’s baseball [knowledge] and professionalism and having players play hard through the final day. He’s a good baseball man and honorable person. Now, it’s time for us to look forward.”
McClendon, 56, who had one year remaining on his three-year contract, was told of the decision Friday morning, the team said.
McClendon posted a 163-161 record in two years in Seattle, including an 87-75 mark in 2014 that was the Mariners’ first winning season since 2009. But after falling one game shy of an American League Wild Card spot last year and raising expectations for a playoff push in ’15, the Mariners went 76-86 this year and finished fourth in the AL West.
Dipoto said he has definite ideas of what he’s looking for in a new manager, and that prior experience as a Major League skipper isn’t a necessity.
“Positive energy, interaction with players, a good baseball background, a teacher, someone who can create a plan and lead people,” he said. “In many ways, a manager’s position is as much about creating an environment as it is about Xs and Os. Too much is made of analytics. That’s a little overblown. It’s more about environment, leadership and energy.”
Dipoto said he has a short list of candidates already in mind, and that he would begin pursuing candidates as soon as they are available, with the postseason under way.
Mariners.com said Tim Bogar, who was bench coach with the Rangers last year and went 14-8 as their interim manager following Ron Washington’s late-season departure, is believed to be a top contender.
A new manager would make eight since 2004 for the team. The franchise has not made the playoffs since 2001, currently the longest playoff-less streak in baseball.