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The first major change the Mariners made was at the top, hiring Detroit Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon to manage the team in 2014.
McClendon's ability to manage is cloudy, given that his prior experience was with a talent-impaired Pittsburgh Pirates team that lost an average of 89 games per season during McClendon's tenure.
As a hitting coach in Detroit, McClendon fronted an offense that averaged sixth in the league in OPS over seven seasons and saw four American League batting title winners, including three-time champ Miguel Cabrera.
That being said, it makes perfect sense for Maringers general manager Jack Zduriencik to hire McClendon. He's made it clear through his moves this offseason that he's emphasizing offense, so McClendon is the perfect fit for that strategy.
Something to remember about McClendon's success as Detroit's hitting coach was that he was given gifted hitters to work with such as Magglio Ordonez, Curtis Granderson, Gary Sheffield, Ivan Rodriguez, Prince Fielder and, of course, the best hitter on the planet in Cabrera.
That isn't to say McClendon isn't a good hitting coach, but his success as such should be taken with a grain of salt because of the talent he was surrounded with in Detroit.