McClendon interviewed with Seattle last October but the job went to former Cleveland manager Eric Wedge. However, Mariners' sources indicated McClendon was the clear runner-up to Wedge and likely would have been hired if not for club executives believing Wedge would be an easier sell to the fans since he was the American League Manager of the Year in 2007.â†µ
Who knows if this is the case, but it makes sense - it wouldn't be a great PR move after a 101-loss season to hire a guy best known for managing the Pirates to five straight losing seasons, regardless of how little blame he actually deserved for them. I wasn't a fan of McClendon at the time, but compared to the managers who followed him, particularly the awful Jim Tracy, he wasn't so bad. His in-game tactics were terrible, but he handled pitchers well and had fire that Pirates managers lacked until the arrival of Clint Hurdle this year.