Seattle Mariners

Dipoto fires McClendon as Mariners’ manager, several coaches also fired

Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon talks with players in the dugout during a game on July 10, 2015, in Seattle. Reports indicate that McClendon’s tenure with the Mariners is over.
Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon talks with players in the dugout during a game on July 10, 2015, in Seattle. Reports indicate that McClendon’s tenure with the Mariners is over. The Associated Press

Those get-acquainted sessions between new Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Lloyd McClendon apparently didn’t go well.

At least not well enough.

The Mariners confirmed Friday that Dipoto fired McClendon and several coaches in his latest move to overhaul an organization that hasn’t reached postseason since 2001.

"After extensive conversations," Dipoto said, "it became clear to me that our baseball philosophies were not closely aligned."

The Mariners plan to retain hitting coach Edgar Martinez and infield coach Chris Woodward on their big-league staff and will offer other positions in the organization to pitching coach Rick Waits and coach Chris Prieto.

But bench coach Trent Jewett, third-base coach Rich Donnelly, outfield coach Andy Van Slyke and bullpen coach Mike Rojas will not return.

McClendon had one year remaining on his three-year contract.

Speculation regarding a replacement is already focusing on Tim Bogar, whom Dipoto hired a year ago, as general manager of the Los Angeles Angels, to serve as a special assistant to the general manager.

Bogar, 48, is a former big-league infielder, who served as interim manager of the Texas Rangers for the final 22 games in 2014.

Dipoto said, when hired Sept. 28 by the Mariners, that he wanted to get to know McClendon before reaching a decision.

"Lloyd is a good person," Dipoto said at the time. "I think he’s had a challenging career path to get here and deserves consideration for anything moving forward.

"But the best marriages are those in which you fall in love and then get married, rather than someone arranging it from a thousand miles away. We’ll take the time to get to know one another."

Dipoto’s tenure as the Angels’ general manager came to an end in July, after three-plus seasons, in part because of his ongoing conflicts with manager Mike Scioscia.

When hired by the Mariners, Dipoto said he received assurances that he would have complete control over all personnel in the club’s Baseball Operations department.

"I wouldn’t say bringing in my own guy is critically important," he said. "To have someone that I believe in, that I trust, who trusts me and believe in what I’m doing, is terrifically important."

McClendon, 56, compiled a 163-161 record in his two years, which means he joins Lou Piniella as the only managers in franchise history to compile a winning record.

But the Mariners struggled to a disappointing 76-86 record this season after being touted in spring training as a strong postseason contender.

Dipoto said he planned to use October to reshape his staff, and he has moved quickly to do so.

Chris Gwynn resigned Thursday as the director of player development, and the Mariners previously confirmed three other top front-office officials would not return: Ted Simmons, Pete Vuckovich and Joe McIlvaine.

Simmons was a senior advisor to the general manager; Vuckovich and McIlvaine served as special assistants to the general manager.

  Comments