The Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners both held press conferences introducing their new managers Rick Renteria and Lloyd McClendon on Thursday, leaving all 30 teams with managers in place for the 2014 season.
Renteria signed a three-year contract with Chicago that has club options through the 2018 season. He will become the Cubs' fourth manager in five seasons, and will attempt to help the team rebound after a disappointing 2013 season. The former Padres bench coach is still excited about the team's chances in 2014, telling Carrie Muskat of MLB.com:
"The assumption that our team or our club won't be able to play at a high level, quite frankly, I don't make that assumption. I assume that every team that's put on the field -- and it might sound naive, and I know people are going to say, 'This kid is naive' -- but I still believe any team that goes in and plays between the lines has a chance to win a ballgame every single day."
Renteria is also ready to interact and hopefully help improve the Cubs young players, stating:
"I've been involved in a youth movement my whole life. Players, in essence, keep us young. I try to use everything I've ever had as a parent -- for example, dealing with whatever moments of frustration or issues that might have occured in the family -- to my advantage. I've used that in my thought process through the game and teaching."
McClendon will become the Mariners' seventh skipper over the past six years. The former Pirates manager did not disclose details of his contract with the press.
He plans to be supportive of the younger players on Seattle's roster, not necessarily the fiery and emotional style he was known for in Pittsburgh, telling Greg Johns of MLB.com:
"I think it all evolves around communication and making sure you talk with players on a daily basis, not only about baseball, but about life in general. Sometimes we forget they're human beings and there are things that bother them just like they bother you and I."
McClendon also spoke highly about Mariners ace Felix Hernandez; when asked why he decided to take the job, McClendon responded with:
"Felix, Felix and Felix. C'mon, this guy is unbelievable. He's a tremendous asset for any organization, and what he does is awfully special. And when you can back it up with a guy like [Hisashi] Iwakuma, that's something to work with. And a kid named [Taijuan] Walker that is going to be pretty special, and [James] Paxton has a chance to be special.
McClendon plans to announce a new coaching staff for Seattle in the near future.