The Seattle Mariners and Jerry Dipoto have found their man to take the reigns as their new manager, and that man – once again – is someone who is very familiar to Dipoto. Former big league catcher Scott Servais, who spent the last four seasons as the Los Angeles Angels’ Assistant General Manager of Scouting and Player Development, having been being hired to handle that role by Dipoto, will lead the M’s in 2015, the club announced today via press release.
Managing will be a brand new role for the versatile Servais, who has held a myriad of positions in the front offices of the Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers and Angels for the past 13 years, but his lack of specific managerial experience isn’t something that either he or Dipoto seem concerned about.
“It has long been my goal to manage a big league team and while I took a slightly different path than many, I am confident in my ability to lead. We have a terrific core of players and I’m looking forward to bringing in a coaching staff that will help me establish a winning culture here as we work toward putting a championship-caliber team on the field for the fans of the Northwest.” – Scott Servais
Dipoto voiced his confidence that this will be a seamless transition for Servais, too, stating, “I truly believe his strong character and career experiences as a player, coach and executive have prepared him for this opportunity.”
Servais’s existing relationship with Dipoto, and his familiarity with – and assumed agreement with – Dipoto’s baseball philosophies undoubtedly helped him land his first managerial role. Whether or not that philosophical cohesion will lead the Mariners to on-field success remains to be seen, though, of course. The M’s have several quality players and stars, led by the core of Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager, but the supporting cast struggled yet again in 2014 and the club’s
McClendon was said to have a lot of support from the players, with word that his presence as manager was one of the main selling points that Cano made to Cruz prior to 2015, but there were rumblings from the agent of several former M’s that many grew tired of his ways. That could just be sour grapes, but it could also hold some truth. Regardless, the club’s struggles in 2015 clearly cannot all be pinned on McClendon. How Servais meshes with this core and the rest of the players, and how well he communicates and gets buy-in to that baseball philosophy, will go a long way in determining his success and the success of the team.
Nothing has been made official by the club, but all signs point to Tim Bogar – another rumored finalist for the managerial position – to accept the role as the bench coach on Servais’s staff. Bogar has a relationship with Servais and Dipoto, too, and having a group of like-minded people at the forefront of the daily operations of Seattle’s big league club figure to enable the club to focus all of its energy in the right places.
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