Lee Pelekoudas is wasting no time making major changes. After recalling Jeff Clement, it was announced this morning that John McLaren had been fired. Bench coach Jim Riggleman will take over for the rest of the season. At the press conference, Pelekoudas simply said that he hoped a different voice would spur the team on to more success.
I am surprised that McLaren got fired, but it really is not a huge move. If Pelekoudas was not going to keep him, then he was gone at the end of the season anyway. It is a sad day, because McLaren is a great guy and he busted his butt every day he was a Mariner. Moreover, a lack of player performance is much more at fault for this collapse than anything McLaren did. On the other hand, his lineups were never that impressive. How McLaren never figured out that Jose Vidro needs to go to the bottom lineup blows my mind. Vidro would have been on the bench a month ago if I were managing the team, yet McLaren continued to bat him at the top of the order.
I would be shocked if Jim Riggleman is the long-term answer as manager, or if he gets this team to play much better. The change is more symbolic of the sweeping changes and massive assessment period the whole organization has entered than any sort of practical fix. At this point, the front office and coaching staff can probably walk around with ease, but many players should still be tip-toeing on eggshells. Changes only began on Monday, and already the changes have been big. Certainly, more will happen.