BY SPNW Staff 04:52PM 11/22/2013

Pitching coach fired as Mariners continue purge

Despite having a year left on his contract, pitching coach Carl Willis was fired as the Mariners continue the purge of former manager Eric Wedge’s staff. The Seattle Times also reported that bullpen coach Jaime Navarro was going to be reassigned to the minor leagues.

Earlier, bench coach Robby Thompson was fired ahead of the appointment of Wedge’s successor, Lloyd McClendon. Thompson was the interim manager when Wedge missed a month of the season after a stroke.

First base coach Mike Brumley, another coach who had a two-year deal, told the team he was taking a job with the Chicago Cubs of assistant hitting coach. Third base coach Jeff Datz was told he’d be re-assigned to a scouting position if he chose to stay with the organization.

Willis said he interviewed for vacancies in Baltimore and Philadelphia but did not get the jobs, and sought out Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik to see if he could stay in Seattle.

“He told me he felt it would be too awkward for me to come back with everything that had happened,” Willis told the Times, referring to Wedge’s abrupt departure from the organization.

Only third base coach Daren Brown, hitting coach Dave Hansen and bullpen catch Jason Phillips remain.


  • jafabian

    I wouldn’t have minded seeing what Thompson could do as manager as well as for Brumley to stick around though I imagine he saw the writing on the wall in regards to his job.

    Be interesting to see how the pitching staff adjust to a new coach, especially Iwakuma. Also find it interesting that Hansen is being retained when hitting was so inconsistent the past couple seasons.

    • art thiel

      Have to give Mariners credit for innovation. Not firing the hitting coach is something they haven’t tried.

      • Trygvesture

        Perfect– and perfectly put. Got a fine grin out of that.
        But, ok: what’s the projected date when they get confused again and fire the hitting coach because the triumverate again put together a losing club?

  • RadioGuy

    Interesting. I thought Willis had actually done a decent job while in Seattle. Oh well, it’s McClendon’s prerogative to hire who he wants as coach as long as upper management says it’s okay…of course.

    • art thiel

      Melvin did a decent job. So did Wedge. They want more than decency. They want . . . indecency?

      • Trygvesture

        Sadly, even that joke went over their heads. Fact is, they have NO IDEA what they want. NONE. They can’t aim for a target since they can’t identify a target. Pathetic. Pathetic.

  • Will

    Right. Keep firing the help, that’s sure to turn the M’s into a contender.

  • giorgio547

    Big a frick’n deal. Come up with a conspiracy theory of something. Talk about watching the grass grow. The next thing you’ll tell us is the Mariner’s need another public subsidy to stay competitive or their moving the team. Or at least feign it…

    • art thiel

      No, they need a better local TV deal. Oh, wait . . . they are the local TV deal.

      • giorgio547

        How do spell MONOPOLY?

  • westsydemariner

    Yawn. Another offseason of chest-pumping by Howie and Chuckles – blame the coaching staff, Chris Hansen, the Moose – anyone and everyone but the two at the top.
    ‘we, uhh, (half-assed) tried to sign people, they just won’t come here’
    Wake me when they are gone.

    • art thiel

      Go ahead, laugh now. Wait until they bring back Aaron Harang.

      • RadioGuy

        Or Jeff “Gas Can” Weaver. He’s rested.

  • SSMarinerblubblubblub

    This is all very well and good, but have they released the dates yet on the bobblehead nights? Any predictions who will be made into bobbleheads?