Mike Hargrove, John McClaren, Don Wakamatsu, Eric Wedge, Lloyd McClendon. Since the collapse of the early 2000's Mariner teams time and again the organization has sought out varying degrees of the Good Baseball Man, each a slightly different variant of the same man; one who's qualifications and strengths fit well within two-three word catchphrases: "Baseball lifer", "knows the game", "player's manager", "commands the clubhouse", etc. Invariably all these empty, calorie filled qualities burned away under the steady, wilting heat that incessant losing brings. For 12 years, they Mariners continued down this road.
Now with Jerry Dipoto at the helm, things are going to be very different - at least in style if not in success (please let it be in success). With the hiring of greenhorn manager Scott Servais, and the more experienced Tim Bogar underhelm as bench coach the Mariners are building a leadership model the current ownership has never attempted.
That model was further rounded out today with Buster Olney breaking the news that former Nationals/Indians manager Manny Acta had agreed to serve as 3rd base coach. Acta spent part of three seasons a piece with both Washington and Cleveland, with little won-loss success to show for it. His managerial winning % is .418. Insert his suitability to take over once Servais is fired here.
For awhile in the mid to late 00's Acta's name was a hot buzzword among the sabermeteric community, due to his being one of the first managerial candidates to speak openly and candidly about a willingness to accept and utilize newer analytical concepts. Hell, the guy gave a Q&A to Fangraphs while employed as the manager for Cleveland. The Mariners and Jerry Dipoto are not shying away from the perception that they fully intend to be more forward thinking in data gathering and utilization, something that I'm willing to wager you find pleasing since you are reading it here on this once great bastion of analytical thought turned free form poetry display space/audience trollfest.
In addition to what this hire says about the Dipoto/Servais approach to analytics the Mariners are now adding further managerial experience in a supporting role of Servais. My thought is that this is by design. While Scott Servais may end up being an excellent major league manager there will be times in 2016 when he is confronted with decisions or problems that will be worsened by having never been in charge over the long course of a baseball season. Having both Tim Bogar and now Manny Acta's years on the bench to lean can only be an asset for a manager who will be learning many things on the fly. Consider Bogar and Acta two well qualified sous chefs to Servais' restaurant manager that just became head chef, or something.
We are still in the early January of the Jerry Dipoto Cosmic Calender. The lion's share of his Mariner legacy lies in front of us, and is unknown. But what we've seen in his ~5 weeks on the job is that, win or lose, the days of Lloyd McClendon and Eric Wedge are gone. The Luddites have been cast aside, now it's up to these enlightened folk to show us the light.