SEATTLE -- Mike Hargrove knows just what he's getting into
as the new manager of the last-place Seattle Mariners.
After all, he lost 98, 95 and 91 games in his final three years
with the Baltimore Orioles.
The Mariners aren't looking for a quick fix after going 63-99
this season, their worst finish since the 1983 Mariners lost 102
"We know we have a lot of hard work ahead of us," Hargrove
said Wednesday when the Mariners introduced him as the new manager.
Hargrove, who has 13 seasons of managerial experience with the
Orioles and Cleveland Indians, agreed to a three-year deal through
"We want to build this the right way," Hargrove said. "We
want to get back, obviously, to Seattle's tradition of winning as
quickly as possible. But we want this thing to last a long time."
Hargrove replaces Bob Melvin, who was fired Oct. 10, a day after
Seattle ended the season with the third-worst record in the majors.
The Mariners were in last place in the AL West for all but one day
of the season.
"He has a tremendous résumé and is battle-tested in every facet
of leading a major league club," Mariners general manager Bill
Under Lou Piniella, who managed the Mariners for 10 seasons
before leaving for Tampa Bay two years ago, Seattle tied the major
league record for victories with 116 in 2001. The Mariners made it
to the AL championship series under Piniella in 1995, 2000 and
Bavasi said Hargrove, who will celebrate his 56th birthday next
Tuesday, was chosen from four finalists who all have major league
managing experience -- Grady Little, Terry Collins and Jerry Manuel.
Hargrove was called two weeks ago by the Mariners, who wanted to
have a manager in place before the start of the World Series this
Teams aren't allowed to make managerial announcements during the
Fall Classic because baseball doesn't want to detract from its
Hargrove will be working with a newly formed coaching staff as
all of Melvin's coaches except pitching coach Bryan Price were
fired, too. Among those let go was bench coach Rene Lachemann, one
of 12 previous Mariners managers.
Mark Wiley, Hargrove's pitching coach in Cleveland and
Baltimore, is a possible candidate for that job in Seattle if Price
isn't retained. Hargrove and Bavasi will pick the coaching staff.
"I'm very fond of Mark," Hargrove said of Wiley, who is
unemployed. "But I also know the Seattle people have a lot of
trust in Bryan. We'll just see where it goes."
Hargrove had been an assistant to Indians GM Mark Shapiro. He
has a career major league managerial record of 996-963, including
721-591 with the Indians from 1991-99.
He led the Indians to five consecutive AL Central Division
titles from 1995-99, and World Series appearances in 1995 and 1997.
He managed Baltimore from 2000-03.
Hargrove was fired by both the Indians and the Orioles, with
Baltimore letting him go after the Orioles lost 91 games in 2003.
He was the manager when Cleveland knocked Seattle out of the 1995
ALCS in six games.
Hargrove is confident the Mariners will be contenders again
soon. Despite their horrible record, the Mariners drew 2.9 million
fans to Safeco Field last season, when they had a player payroll of
$90 million. They are expected to have a similar payroll next
"From the ownership to the general manager all the way down are
people that are dedicated to bringing a winner here," Hargrove
said. "I'm not sure that's the case everywhere else."
Hargrove said he rediscovered his passion for managing while
working in the Indians' front office last season when he went to
"I think I'm pretty good at what I do," he said.
He said he wasn't involved in the Indians' decision not to offer
a contract to longtime shortstop Omar Vizquel, who played for the
Mariners from 1989-93 before being traded to Cleveland.