Though his Mariners had won seven straight games, the longest such current streak in baseball, Seattle manager Mike Hargrove shocked just about everyone by resigning before the game against the Blue Jays on Sunday. Bench coach John McLaren will take over the team for the rest of the season starting Monday.
In a prepared statement, Hargrove, who was named the Mariners' manager on October 30, 2004, said the following: "Over the past several weeks, I have come to the realization that to be fair to myself and the team, I can not continue to do this job if my passion has begun to fade. I want to stress how much I respect, and love, the players in the clubhouse, and the coaches and staff that we have in place here, and I can not stress enough what a tremendous place this is to work because of the people who work above me. I am very proud of the work we've done to turn this club around in three years, and I have high expectations for the team this season."
The Mariners were in second place in the N.L. West, and 4.5 games behind the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, with a 44-33 record, before their Sunday game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Safeco Field. The M's were also two games behind the Detroit Tigers in the American League Wild-Card race.
Hargrove has 35 years in professional baseball as a catcher and manager.
Mariners GM Bill Bavasi had this to say: "Mike took over the team at a difficult point in time, taking over after the 2004 season. He has been a 'team player,' and successfully developed a group of young, inexperienced players from our farm system and incorporated several veterans into a winning team. As a result, we are in much better shape today than we were when Mike came to town. I would like to thank Mike for his efforts. We're disappointed that he has decided to step down, but we respect his decision. We wish him, (wife) Sharon and his family all the best."