Lloyd McClendon, who was the Detroit Tigers’ hitting coach, will take over as manager of the Seattle Mariners for Eric Wedge, according to several reports.
McClendon, 54, will get his second chance to lead a team. He managed the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2001-2005. But his teams produced only a 336-446.
He reportedly was the only candidate the Mariners interviewed with previous managerial experience. He joined the Tigers in 2006 and was named their hitting coach in 2007. McClendon played eight years in the majors, mainly as a utility player, for the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs and Tigers from 1987 through 1994.
McClendon is known more for his tirade on the field on June 1, 2001, when he argued a call so vehemently that, after being ejected, he pulled first base out of the ground, tucked it under his arm and stormed off the field with it.
It was an antic Lou Piniella would be proud of. McClendon will be the eighth Mariners manager since Lou Piniella’s departure after the 2002 season. Since then, Seattle has had just three winning seasons.
In his five seasons as manager of the Pirates, McClendon’s team continued its streak as one of the worst teams in baseball. Pittsburgh improved from 62-100 in McClendon’s first season as skipper to 72-89 in 2002, but he was fired near the end of 2005 after three more years of abysmal baseball. The Pirates finished 67-95 in 2005, when McClendon was replaced by Pete Mackanin with 26 games remaining.
The Mariners hoped Wedge would perform a similar miracle in Seattle, but the relationship fell apart after three years of losing baseball. Seattle finished 67-95 in Wedge’s first year as manager and improved to 75-87 in 2012, but fell to 71-91 in a turbulent 2013.