The Mariners fired John McLaren this morning, replacing him with bench coach Jim Riggleman. The team release:
SEATTLE MARINERS MANAGER JOHN McLAREN RELIEVED OF HIS DUTIES
Bench Coach Jim Riggleman Promoted to Manager for Remainder of 2008 Campaign
SEATTLE, Wash. – Seattle Mariners Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Lee Pelekoudas announced today that John McLaren has been relieved of his duties as manager. Pelekoudas met with McLaren this morning and informed him of the decision.
"John worked extremely hard, but our team continued to under perform compared to our expectations of them," Pelekoudas said. "With 90 games left on our schedule, we owe it to ourselves and our fans to do everything we can to win as many games as possible. At the same time, as we move towards the trade deadline and decisions have to be made on the futures of the players on our ballclub, I wanted to see if a different voice could make a difference in their performance."
Jim Riggleman, who was on the Mariners staff as the bench coach, has been named manager for the remainder of the 2008 season. He is the 13th full-time manager in Mariners history.
"Jim is an experienced baseball man with broad experience as both a Major League manager and coach. He is intimately familiar with our club and I believe he will do a fine job," Pelekoudas said.
Riggleman, 55, has extensive Major League experience. He was the manager of the Chicago Cubs from 1995-1999, including winning the NL Wild Card in 1998 with a 90-73 record. Riggleman began his managerial career with the San Diego Padres, taking over for the final 12 games of the 1992 season and managing the club in 1993 and 1994. Overall, he has managed over 1,000 games in the Majors, compiling a career mark of 486-598 (.448). Riggleman also has nine seasons of minor league managerial experience (1982-1992) during which he had a 558-554 (.502) career mark.
Riggleman was a coach in the Majors with St. Louis (for Whitey Herzog) in 1989 and 1990 and for Cleveland in 2000. He spent the past three seasons (2005-2007) as the St. Louis Cardinals minor league field coordinator, overseeing instruction in the Cardinals minor league system, before being named Seattle’s bench coach. He began his coaching career in the Cardinals minor league system in 1981, and worked as a manager in their system until being named the team’s Director of Player Development in June, 1988.
McLaren, 56, was named manager of the Mariners on July 2, 2007, when Mike Hargrove stepped down. He posted a 43-41 mark over the remainder of the 2007 season, and had led the club to a 25-47 start this year. McLaren also had 11 seasons as a coach with the Mariners.
"We want to thank John for his service to the Mariners," Pelekoudas added. "He has dedicated many years of his baseball career to help build baseball in Seattle. We appreciate all of his hard work and wish him all the best in the future."