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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

REPORTS: McClendon a candidate for Marlins job

Perhaps there was good reason not to announce the responsibility changes for the Detroit Tigers coaching staff just yet.

It could be that the makeup of the staff is changing through natural means.

Reports Wednesday surfaced that Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon had emerged as a candidate to replace the fired Ozzie Guillen as the manager of the Florida Marlins. Citing Marlins sources,'s Danny Knobler was the first to report that McClendon had interviewed for the job.

[UPDATED: McClendon did not get the job. The Marlins hired Mike Redmond.]

McClendon has managerial experience, having spent four-plus seasons as the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates before being fired midseason in 2005. A former Pirates player during his eight-year playing career, McClendon was added to the Pittsburgh coaching staff by his former manager (and current boss) Jim Leyland after his playing days. He served as the Pirates' hitting coach under both Leyland and successor Gene Lamont, before taking over the team in 2000, and compiling a 336-446 record. The Pirates' 79 wins under Clint Hurdle this season were the most since McClendon led Pittsburgh to a 75-87 record in 2003.

The Tigers brought back Leyland's entire coaching staff intact when they re-signed the manager to a new one-year contract this week, but indicated that some of the coaches' roles might be changing. Those changes were not announced just yet.

“The way I’d answer this question is that we’ve had some conversations for a lengthy period about making some possible transitions with responsibilities, nothing reflective upon what’s happened in the year past," Tigers president, CEO and general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "But I’m not in a position to address that at this point.”

Leyland said there was no discussion of changing the composition of his coaching staff, despite rumblings that there might have been. But he admitted there would be new roles.

"All coaches are coming back next year, but there could be a situation where we may redirect a couple things. I’m not really ready to expound on that just yet. I think there’s a possibility we could rearrange the furniture just a little bit. But everybody is going to be back," Leyland said, dismissing the thought that the change had anything to do with performance in the 2012 season. "No. It has nothing to do with that. We’re going to rearrange one piece of our furniture and it has nothing to do with anybody’s results this year or the job they did. We just think it’s time maybe to make this move. In the near future, if Dave says it’s OK to tell you exactly what it is I’ll tell you exactly what it is. But I’ll wait until I get that permission from my boss. We just felt like that wasn’t that big of an issue today."

Perhaps there was good reason to wait.

All of that could be a moot point if McClendon gets the Miami job. According to the Miami Herald, the other candidates for the job include former Phillies and Padres manager Larry Bowa, currently a TV analyst, as well as former Marlins player Mike Redmond, the manager of the Blue Jays' Class A affiliate in Dunedin, Fla.


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