The Seattle Mariners are looking for more than five coaches for their 2008 staff, they’re looking for clubhouse presence – and clearly, they’re narrowing their focus on men who have it.
With coach John McLaren all but a rookie manager, he and the Seattle front office and narrowed the list of candidates, and here are the frontrunners to join batting coach Jeff Pentland:
&bull Jim Riggleman, bench coach.
&bull Mel Stottlemyre, pitching coach
&bull Larry Bowa, third base coach
&bull Norm Charlton, bullpen coach
&bull Eddie Rodriguez, first base coach
Most of those names are familiar to Mariners fans – Bowa was Seattle’s third base coach in 2000, Charlton pitched for the team in three different stints and Rodriguez spent the 2007 season managing the Mariners Class AA team.
All are known for no-nonsense approaches to the game.
Stottlemyre, 66, was a three-time 20-game winner as a pitcher, and served as the p;itching coach of the Astros, Mets and Yankees until resigning in New York after the 2005 post-season
A Missouri native, Stottlemyre now lives in Sammamish, Wa.
Riggleman, 45, has managed the Padres and Cubs and coached for the Cardinals, Indians, and Dodgers. He spent last season as a minor league instructor with St. Louis.
Bowa, 62, is a former All-Star shortstop who never made his high school team, and after his playing career managed the Padres and Phillies – and was the National League Manager of the Year in 2001.
He’s been a third base coach with the Phillies, Angels, Mariners and Yankees, and his contract in New York expires this month.
Charlton, 44, has spent the last six years in Seattle’s minor league system working with young pitchers. A member of the 1990 World Series champion Cincinnati team, Charlton appeared in 605 major league games – 249 as a Mariner.
Rodriguez, 48, is the least known of the candidates but is a career baseball man who has done most every job in the game. He was a first base coach with the Diamondbacks when they won the 2001 World Series, and was a member of Tommy Lasorda’s coaching staff in 2000 when the United States team won the Olympic Gold Medal.
He has managed and coached in the minor and majors since 1984.