Some added fire to M’s ice
On Monday it was announced that the Seattle Mariners had narrowed down their managerial search to four candidates. On Tuesday, their search came to an end as the M’s named former Detroit Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon as the new bench boss.
This isn’t quite as exciting as an 8-1 Seahawks start, but it really should be!
The Mariners are in some dire need of a man to actually take over this franchise, and one with a winning attitude too. You don’t simply spend the past seven years under Jim Leyland without learning a few tricks from the master himself.
Not only does he come with a couple of World Series appearances under his belt, but he also has some actual managerial experience, unlike the rest of the guys who ended up interviewing well with the brass.
I mentioned fire in the headline, and this is what McClendon will bring to this team. It’s about time too, because the past several M’s managers have lacked this for sure.
We start with Eric Wedge, then move on to Mike Hargrove.
Then there was the second coming of the Zen master Don Wakamatsu, and his mentor Bob Melvin. I think the only manager with a little bit of passion under his seat was Jim Riggleman, but his tenure was so short it shouldn’t even garner a mention here.
Needless to say, the M’s have been without a true leader since the great “Sweet” Lou Piniella left town. And yes, the M’s did try to lull him back a la the Packers and Brett Favre.
So I have come up with the five biggest things that McClendon will have to do to try to turn this thing around once and for all for the Seattle Mariners organization.
1: Own this team
This seems to be a problem that a lot of managers that float into Seattle deal with.
McClendon needs to first and foremost not think of this a temp job, but a job that will not only win over the hearts of the fans in the pacific northwest if he succeeds, but will go down in history and lore of this baseball clubs tragic and troubling past.
Some of the past hires were set up to fail, and they surely couldn’t think that they had a serious chance of succeeding here, but this really could be just what the doctor ordered for this club: A leader who will rule with an iron fist.
2: Tame the youngsters
When the Kansas City Royals were threatening late into the season this past year, you knew things were afoul in Seattle.
Are we now the fans of a team that would rather sit back and reap the benefits of being a losing team? What good do high draft picks do when they get dealt at the deadline, or underperform because they are rushed up?
This really should be #1 on the priority list, and probably is to a lot of you, but if there’s no ownership at the helm then McClendon loses just like his past five predecessors.
3: Make the drastic moves
Jack Z can’t seem to get one of these right, and the owners want to blow their whole load on one player, so it will have to be up to McClendon to plead, pry, scratch and whatever else it takes to get the players in here that will win us some ballgames.
If that means bundling a couple of players together to make an offseason splash, then so be it. If that means trying to pry open the wallets of the owners, then so be it.
Just get it done!
4: Determine who is untouchable
This kind of eludes to the above mentioned #3, but honestly, this has to be one of his top priorities as well. Determine right now who stays for certain, who goes for certain and who is available for the right price.
If this is going to be his team through and through, then Jack Z needs to get on the same page as him immediately and determine what they are going to do this offseason so we have Lloyd McClendon’s team in place on opening day.
5: Win. Please?
What McClendon needs to do more than anything else really is win. Not five years from now, but now. This year.
The Angels are a team in decline, and the Astros will only be the doormat for so long, now really is the time to start making a move up the AL West standings.
Plus, we really are due for a winning season in Seattle. The past 12 seasons have not been the most pleasurable.
Welcome aboard Lloyd, all you have to do is win and one day we will regard your name as dearly as we regard Lou Piniella and Dave Niehaus’.