Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Seattle Mariners unveiled new manager Lloyd McClendon during a Thursday press conference two days after naming the former Detroit Tigers hitting coach the 16th full-time skipper in franchise history.
McClendon, who managed the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2001-05 prior to an eight- year tenure in Detroit, takes over a Seattle team that has produced just two winning seasons in the last eight years and went 71-91 under Eric Wedge in 2013.
The 54-year-old told reporters Thursday that he believes the Mariners' future is a bright one, however, due to the presence of All-Star pitchers Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma and a farm systems with several promising prospects on the way.
"I think this is a golden opportunity for me and this is a golden time for the Seattle Mariners," said McClendon. "I think there's nothing but good things for this organization and I certainly think we're heading in the right direction. I know the last three or four years have been very tough and very disappointing.
"This team reminds me so much of the 2006 Tigers and the potential that was with that team. I'm really excited and honored to be here. Hopefully we'll do great things here."
Though the Pirates failed to finish over .500 in any of McClendon's five seasons at the helm, their totals of 72, 75 and 72 wins between 2002-04 were the three highest of an 11-year span from 2000-10. He compiled a 335-446 overall record with Pittsburgh.
McClendon was part of a considerably more successful operation in Detroit, with the Tigers reaching the World Series twice and competing in four American League Championship Series during his time as a coach under Jim Leyland.
A 33-year veteran of professional baseball, McClendon also spent eight years as a player, predominantly as a reserve outfielder and pinch hitter. Current Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik was the Pirates' director of scouting during the majority of McClendon's five-year playing run in Pittsburgh.
"Lloyd McClendon is a very impressive gentleman," said Zduriencik. "Not only his background as a player ... he was a bullpen coach, a hitting coach, managed at one point in time, and I believe all of us were very comfortable with him. We've got a very, very sincere and outstanding person. A very strong personality, but it's a personality that I think you're all going to gravitate to."
McClendon had previously interviewed for Seattle's managerial position in 2010, when the team ultimately hired Wedge, who resigned during the final week of last season following a conflict with management. The Mariners went 212-271 during his three-year reign.
Zduriencik chose McClendon over four other finalists -- Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, White Sox bench coach Joey Cora and Oakland bench coach Chip Hale. Of those five candidates, McClendon was the only one who had previously managed in the major leagues.