The Seattle Mariners have named Scott Servais their new manager.
Earlier this month, new Mariners’ GM Jerry DiPoto fired Lloyd McClendon although he had a year remaining on his contract. Earlier this year, DiPoto abruptly resigned as GM of the Los Angeles Angels amidst a long standing conflict with manager Mike Scioscia. DiPoto didn’t want to take chances and put his own guy in there.
Servais had a 10-year big league career as a catcher with the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies. He and DiPoto were teammates with the Colorado Rockies and would later serve as an assistant GM under DiPoto with the Angels. Servais also has a several years front office experience as the Texas Rangers’ Director of Player Development.
However, Servais does not have any managerial or coaching experience. This has been the trend in recent years with the hirings of Mike Matheny with the Cardinals, Robin Ventura with the White Sox and Brad Ausmus with the Tigers with mixed results. But I’m not sure if Servais has the kind of reputation with players that will resonate in the dugout.
At the time of McClendon’s dismissal, it was believed that DiPoto was leaning towards Tim Bogar, another former front office associate with the Angels. Unlike Servais, Bogar has big league coaching experience mostly with the Boston Red Sox and briefly managed the Texas Rangers in 2014 following Ron Washington’s sudden resignation. The Rangers opted to hire Jeff Banister over Bogar and now it appears he has been overlooked again although he will likely serve as Servais’ bench coach.
With the Toronto Blue Jays in the post-season, the Mariners now have the distinction of having longest post-season drought. They last played October baseball in 2001 when they tied an MLB record with 116 wins. It will be interesting to see what other moves DiPoto makes in the off-season. While it’s possible that Servais could have managing in his blood, I am inclined to be skeptical towards this hire for now.
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