"Over the past several weeks, I have come to the realization that to be fair to myself and the team, I can not continue to do this job if my passion has begun to fade," Hargrove said, according to the release.Neighbor and co-blogger Jeff Nusser writes,
Bench coach John McLaren will replace Hargrove as manager beginning Monday. McLaren's promotion was announced by general manager Bill Bavasi.
Bavasi hired Hargrove before the 2005 season to replace the fired Bob Melvin.
The Mariners went 69-93 in Hargrove's first season as Mariners manager, 78-84 last season and are currently 44-33. The Mariners are 11 games over .500, the high-water mark of Hargrove's term as manager. Their seven-game winning streak is also their longest under Hargrove.
And in many ways, this is the best possible scenario for Hargrove. He leaves with the team probably overachieving a bit, having overseen what appears to be an organization that has turned the corner from irrelevance to relevance once again. Even if interim manager John McLaren -- the guy we wanted to take over a long time ago -- comes in and leads the team to a playoff appearance, Hargrove will get a lot of the credit. If McLaren doesn't? If the team crumbles? It will be on him, even if such a fall would have been inevitable under Hargrove.To analogize, by going out while in the middle of a good run, Hargrove has chosen the Bill Watterson / Gary Larson style of retirement, rather than the slow, agonizing Charles Schulze-style debacle. Good for him.
We should've seen it coming. Once Hargrove shaved the goatee, anything was possible.