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September 5, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Friday’s pregame notes and lineups: Mariners at Rangers

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Manager Lloyd McClendon said he was “shocked” when he heard the news of Ron Washington’s resignation.

“They played with his style,” McClendon said. “He loved the game. And his teams played hard with a lot of passion. And they were damn good.”

Getting players to play hard day in and day out is one of the biggest keys to being a successful manager. You expect players to be professional and do that on a daily basis, but we all know that doesn’t happen. Washington’s teams played hard for him because they loved and respected him.

“I believe that,” McClendon said. “And that’s a hard thing to accomplish, to get guys to want to play hard for you. But he did it better than anybody. He was pretty damn good.”

*****

Commissioner Bud Selig will be at Safeco Field on Wednesday to watch the Mariners and Astros game. The organization invited him as a thank you for his 20 years of service.

His response: “Thanks a lot guys, could you maybe get me a better game than the Astros?”

Just kidding.

Selig will meet with the media before the game. Not sure what I’m going to ask him. But if you have any legitimate questions, feel free to email me them at rdivish@seattletimes.com

******

The Mariners went 7-for-12 with runners scoring position last night. Since August 6th, the M’s lead all of baseball in hitting with RISP with a .340 batting average (68-for-200) with 13 doubles, a triple, four homers, 89 RBI and 24 walks.

Why is that?

“We’ve got a better team,” McClendon said. “We’ve got more experience in the lineup. That helps.”

More experience and more talent. But there are other reasons.

“I don’t think it’s an accident,” McClendon said. “I think it’s something we stressed from spring training – preparation. From a mental standpoint, it’s doing your homework, getting in the video room, understanding what the pitchers are going to do in certain situations, and if you do that you’ll have a better chance of being successful, particularly with runners in scoring position. You take out the guess work.”

McClendon on being the last remaining African-American manager.

“It’s tough,” McClendon said. “It was an alarming figure to start with and even more of an alarming number now.”

******

Also from the Mariners’ marketing department  …. they will do a “Night Court” version of King’s Court for the Saturday, Sept. 13th start for  Felix Hernandez against the A’s.

They will have this shirt.

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From earlier 

A stunner here pregame as Rangers media relations director John Blake walked into the press box and announced, “In one minute, you will be receiving a press release that manager Ron Washington has resigned to attend to personal reasons.

In a statement, Washington said:

“Today, I have submitted my resignation from the job I love – managing the Rangers – in order to devote my full attention to addressing an off-the-field personal matter.   As painful as it is, stepping away from the game is what’s best for me and my family.

“This is in no way related to the disappointing performance of the team this season. We were already discussing 2015 and looking forward to getting the Rangers back to postseason contention.

“I deeply regret that I’ve let down the Rangers organization and our great fans. Over the past eight seasons, it’s been a privilege to be part of some of the best years in club history and I will always be grateful for the opportunities I’ve had here, and for the great management, players, and coaches who have made our time here a success.  Thank you for respecting my privacy.”

Hopefully the personal matters can be taken care of and Washington can come back to baseball in some capacity. Having talked with him on more than a few occasions, he was gracious, funny and always honest. One of the nicest guys in all of baseball and his players always played hard for him. 

Thanks to the lunacy and typical lack of civility on Twitter, people have made a plethora of jokes about cocaine and drug use since Washington tested positive for cocaine back in 2009. There has been no reports or confirmation of that. And if there were, it would just make the whole story even more sad.

With Washington’s resignation and the firing of Bo Porter in Houston, it leaves Lloyd McClendon as the only African-American manager in all of Major League Baseball.

 

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