BY SPNW Staff 09:22AM 10/09/2015

No shock, McClendon out as Mariners manager

Lloyd McClendon lobbied to return to the Mariners in 2016, but new general manager Jerry Dipoto had permission to make his own choice, and it wasn’t Lloyd.

Lloyd McClendon won’t return to the Mariners in 2016. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

The Mariners made it official Friday, announcing that Lloyd McClendon will not return as manager of the club next season. The firing has been widely anticipated since Jerry Dipoto was hired to replace Jack Zduriencik as general manager two weeks ago.

“I have a great deal of respect for Lloyd, as a person and as a manager,” Dipoto said. “It is a credit to his professionalism that the team continued to play hard through the final day of the season. However, after extensive conversations it became clear to me that our baseball philosophies were not closely aligned.

“On behalf of the Mariners I want to thank Lloyd and his staff for their hard work the past two seasons, and I wish him the best moving forward.”

Batting coach Edgar Martinez and infield coach Chris Woodward have been invited to return to the big league staff. Pitching coach Rick Waits and coach Chris Prieto have been asked to return to the Mariners organization. Dipoto did not identify which positions they would hold.

Bench coach Trent Jewett, third base coach Rich Donnelly, outfield coach Andy Van Slyke and bullpen coach Mike Rojas will not return to the Mariners next season.

Dipoto spent his first week on the job getting to know McClendon, obviously as a courtesy. McClendon two years ago forecasted a “golden age” for Mariners baseball that didn’t come  to pass under his two-year watch, although he leaves with a 163-161 Seattle record, the only manager besides Lou Piniella who had a winning mark.

Dipoto also received permission from team ownership to make his own managerial choice and did the expected, letting McClendon go with a year remaining on his contract.

Tim Bogar, who managed the Texas Rangers for 22 games at the end of the 2014 season after Ron Washington resigned, is a leading candidate to replace McClendon. An Indianapolis native who played for the Mets, Astros and Dodgers from 1993-01, Bogar spent this past season as a special assist to the GM of the Angels which, until July, was Dipoto.

The Mariners went 87-75 in McClendon’s first year (2014) and were eliminated from the playoffs on the final day the regular season. The club regressed this past season to 76-86 and was never in contention for a division title or wild card spot after the All-Star break.

McClendon publicly lobbied to keep his job, but his old-school approach to baseball was reportedly at odds with Dipoto’s preference for inclusion of advanced statistical data in analyzing players.

The Mariners have employed six other full-time and two interim managers since Pinella left the franchise following the 2002 season. None had a winning record. When the Mariners hire their next manager, they will tie the Marlins for most full-time managers since 2002, the year Piniella left.

Team Div. No. Longest Tenured
Mariners AL West 7 Eric Wedge (2011-13) finished 4th in division 3 times
Marlins NL East 7 Fredi Gonzalez (2007-11) finished 2nd in 2009
Astros AL West 6 P. Garner (2005-07), B. Mills (2010-12) 3 seasons
Cubs NL Central 6 Dusty Baker (2003-06) reached playoffs in 2003
Orioles AL East 5 Buck Showalter since 2011, 2 playoff appearances
Blue Jays AL East 5 John Gibbons 2 stints, 2005-07, 2013-current
Nationals NL East 5 Frank Robinson (2003-06), no playoff games
Reds NL Central 5 Dusty Baker (2008-12), 3 playoff appearances
D-Backs NL West 5 Bob Melvin (2005-09), 2007 NL Manager of Year


  • Topcatone

    McClendon’s fate was sealed when he continued to play Rodney. We lost enough games with Rodney closing that we could have been in the race easily. It was demoralizing to the team. Perhaps McClendon was forced to play him, who really knows.

  • notaboomer

    well rodney’s in the playoffs with the cubs, whose manager knows how to use players so there’s that.

  • Lodowick

    Rodney did him in. There can’t be any forcing when your the guy in charge.

  • Effzee

    Dudes. McClendon’s fate was sealed the day he signed his contract. This was a situation that was not his to fix. It is beyond anyone’s capability to fix, as long as Howard has input. Now, if upper management is *actually* going to let the GM choose his own manager with ZERO meddling… Well then…. At least there’s a reason to contemplate being curious about the new direction.

  • ReebHerb

    For whatever reason, the Mariners came out of spring training not ready to play. It would be nice to see a Mariner team beat up on pitchers when they have those early season dead arms. Houston did. Houston was running out of gas at the end but they made it across the line.