Until the Mariners stop losing, most fans are going to meet every move made by the front office with derision, sarcasm and apathy, or some peculiar cocktail of all three.
That was made clear Tuesday in the hours after the club announced they hired Lloyd McClendon as their seventh manager in the last six seasons.
A quick perusal of Twitter revealed the depth of the cynicism. Some were skeptical (if not the best spellers) about McClendon’s job security under general manager Jack Zduriencik, whose contract is, at the moment, scheduled expire after the 2014 season.
#Mariners announce hiring of Lloyd McClendon as manager. They also announce their search for a new manger for 2015.
— Frank Murgia (@IronCitySports) November 6, 2013
After McClendon guided the Pirates to a 336-446 record during five unmemorable seasons (2001-05) in the NL East, the club fired him. The defining moment of McClendon’s managerial career came when he protested a call in a way unique to everyone except former Mariners manager Lou Piniella.
Where did he take that base?
Mariners hired Lloyd McLendon? Would be great if he walked into introductory news conference holding a base!
— Josh Copen (@joshcopen) November 6, 2013
Ed Murray beat incumbent Seattle mayor Mike McGinn Tuesday night, knocking out of office Chris Hansen’s biggest proponent of the plan to build a basketball/hockey/entertainment arena south of Safeco Field.
Murray and McClendon face more than a few unenviable challenges. Who would be more difficult to deal with on a daily basis: The Seattle City Council or Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong?
— Kyle Alm (@keepkalm) November 6, 2013
Are the Mariners already playing from behind?
so the mariners are gonna start the 2014 season with 2 in the L column… Lloyd McClendon
— Keith England (@KeithKHE) November 6, 2013
Could first baseman Justin Smoak (.238 BA/.334 OBP/.412 SLG.) actually hit 30 home runs in one season if Seattle did this?
@Mariners Can we move the fences in to 220ft this year?
— Ryan Ihrig (@RyanIhrig) November 6, 2013
The Puget Sound Business Journal reported before any local or national news source that the Mariners had hired McClendon as the 19th manager in franchise history. To his credit, one clever fan saw a connection and pointed it out.
— Ryan Healy (@ryanhealy) November 6, 2013
Lost in all this is the possibility that McClendon might actually do a decent job next season and lead the Mariners to a respectable finish in the AL West. Running out a starting rotation of Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker (and two among Erasmo Ramirez/Brandon Maurer/Danny Hultzen) should keep any team, even one with perpetual offensive incompetence, in most every ballgame.
But the Mariners are the Mariners for a reason — they haven’t made the playoffs since 2001 — so the skepticism persists.
It’s not that I don’t believe in Lloyd McClendon. It’s just that he agreed to work for idiots. Like Lance Bass taking a job at Chick-Fil-A.
— Seattle Sportsnet (@alexSSN) November 5, 2013