PRO BASEBALL

Gary's Lloyd McClendon to be named Seattle Mariners' manager

2013-11-05T21:00:00Z 2013-11-06T23:27:04Z Gary's Lloyd McClendon to be named Seattle Mariners' managerAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
November 05, 2013 9:00 pm  • 

Lloyd McClendon will have his work cut out as the new manager of the Seattle Mariners.

The Gary native and Roosevelt grad will be officially introduced during a Thursday news conference at Safeco Field.

"I am extremely excited about the opportunity to manage the Seattle Mariners," McClendon said in a statement. "Seattle has a tremendous group of talented players and the fans and city should be excited about the club's future.

"I'm looking for this group to take a big step forward."

McClendon becomes the Mariners' seventh manager since 2007 and replaces Eric Wedge, who resigned after the season while on the hot seat for most of it.

As of Sunday, the finalists included Oakland A's bench coach Chip Hale and former White Sox coach Joey Cora.

McClendon was the only one of the three with managerial experience, having led the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2001 to 2005.

He played for the Pirates from 1991 to 1993, when current Mariners' General Manager Jack Zduriencik was director of scouting for Pittsburgh.

"Lloyd is a bright and articulate guy," Zduriencik said in a statement. "He has major league managerial experience and has served in a vital capacity in Detroit under one of the game's best managers. He is a tireless worker and is very respected by the players with whom he has worked.

"We look forward to Lloyd embracing our players as we move the Mariners forward."

McClendon's playing career included tours with the Mets, Reds, Cubs, Pirates and Indians and upon retiring, served as the Pirates' hitting coach.

When Jim Leyland was named Tigers' manager, he brought the Gary native aboard as his bullpen coach, then promoted him to hitting coach.

Leyland retired after this season and McClendon was among the finalists but was passed over in favor of Brad Ausmus.

McClendon, 54, is scheduled to fly to Seattle on Wednesday and was told to "be prepared for a very long day" Thursday.

At Seattle, McClendon will take over a club that's been in a rebuilding mode the past five seasons and has an on-field payroll roughly half of what the Tigers had.

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