Lloyd McClendon Should Be Front Runner For AL Manager of the Year If Seattle Mariners Make Playoffs

By Vinny Lanni
Getty Images
Getty Images

The Seattle Mariners have not been relevant since 2001, and it’s time they got put back on the map. Don’t look now, but it seems like the M’s are not falling off anytime soon and despite a weak lineup, they still find ways to win games thanks to head coach Lloyd McClendon.

At this moment, the Mariners are half a game back of the final American League Playoff race and all they do is continue to defeat the odds and win games. No one expected the rebound year that the Mariners have had and some laughed when they signed former Detroit Tigers coach McClendon in the offseason. I heard people say that he was a hot-head and he had a 336-446 record as the Pittsburgh Pirates‘ head coach. Let me tell you something, McClendon is coaching a very young and inexperienced Mariners team and he is doing a heck of a job as they prepare for the final playoff push in September.

The thing about this M’s team is that they were built within the organization — except for that one guy Robinson Cano. Felix Hernandez, Dustin Ackley, James Paxton and Mike Zunino are just a few names that the Mariners have developed through their farm system, and all of them are playing a key role right now for the team.

MLB has turned into a pitching first league — go ask the Tigers why they just traded for David Price — and right now the M’s have a very underrated pitching staff — currently ranked No.1 in MLB for ERA — that’s been able to carry the club all the way through the season. Chris Young has even found success on this young Mariners team and a few years ago, he was being boo’d out of Citi Field. It all comes down to McClendon and his ability to get the most out of his players; go take a look at Ackley and his resurgence within the past month.

Sure, the AL Manager of the Year could go to a well-known name like Joe Girardi and Kansas City Royals‘ head coach Ned Yost deserves some credit too, but no one thought the Mariners would be this good — no one. Give credit where credit is due, and if the Mariners breakaway from that tight Wild Card race in the AL, McClendon should be in the winner’s circle above the No. 1 logo on the podium.

Vinny Lanni is a New York Jets writer for RantSports.com. He also adds to the site’s NBA, MLB and NFL content. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.

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