In a move first reported by the Puget Sound Business Journal and later confirmed by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Mariners are set to hire Lloyd McClendon as their new manager.
McClendon previously managed the Pirates from 2001-2005, compiling a 336-446 (.430) record with zero winning seasons, and has been the Tigers’ hitting coach since 2007.
Certainly plenty of managers who struggled in their first jobs have gone on to find success in later jobs, but it’s tough not to view this as a retread hire considering how much criticism McClendon received in Pittsburgh the first time around.
He’ll replace Eric Wedge, who went 213-273 (.438) in three seasons with the Mariners and left Seattle on bad terms by saying he wouldn’t have stuck around even if they gave him a five-year contract.
Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, White Sox bench coach Joey Cora, and A’s bench coach Chip Hale were the other finalists for the job.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: