ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports the Detroit Tigers interviewed long-time hitting coach Lloyd McClendon as a replacement for retired manager Jim Leyland.
Lloyd McClendon interviewed for #tigers managing job today. "I thought it went very well,'' he said. "Let's just wait and see.''— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) October 24, 2013
General Manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed the interview with Mlive's Chris Iott, saying much the same thing as McClendon.
"It went well."
The 54 year old McLendon has been on staff since Leyland's arrival in 2006 and was named hitting coach in 2007. McClendon also has the big league managerial experience Dombrowski has admitted he prefers in any candidate to replace Leyland. He skippered the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2001-05, compiling a 336–446 record.
This is not McClendon's first go-round on the managerial rumor mill, having been on the radar of other franchises since joining the Tigers. The Seattle Mariners interviewed McClendon after the 2010 season, but elected to hire Eric Wedge instead. This past off-season, McClendon was interviewed by the Miami Marlins, who ultimately went in another direction by hiring Mike Redmond.
For those who blame McClendon for the Tigers' offensive failures, they often ignore the fact the team was among AL team leaders in most offensive stats, including topping the league in batting average and hits and second to only the Boston Red Sox in OPS and runs scored. Let alone the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years happened under his watch.
McClendon interviewing with the Tigers is far from surprising news. He would ensure stability, maintaining the status quo of a franchise with sky-high expectations and World Series aspirations. He also has the respect of a veteran locker room, which is half the battle.
Mlive's Iott asked a current Tiger via text if the team would respond well to McClendon as manager. He received a one word reply.
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