Is Lloyd McClendon's job safe?


Updated: April 29, 2003, 12:18 PM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
Well, it is a fairly safe job unless one gets hit by a stray fungo during pregame warm-ups. It is not safe in terms of longevity, but then, that's part of the deal when one is a major league manager.

The Pirates have just finished a 3-9 homestand and, as we discussed Monday, find themselves exactly where they were last year in terms of offensive output. While it appears they are headed for another uninspired season, is there any cause to fire manager Lloyd McClendon as some are suggesting?

Lloyd McClendon
Lloyd McClendon appears to be getting the most out of the talent at his disposal.
"No," say not one but two Pittsburgh columnists in today's papers. Writes Sam Ross, Jr. of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Axing McClendon would be ridiculous, but ridiculous things happen almost daily in sports." Ross feels that McClendon's biggest sin is a tendency to have too many meetings. He feels that he is getting the most out of the talent that is available to him. Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is right there with him. After listing the litany of Pirate problems to date, he adds: "A rational mind would place about 2 percent of the blame for this on McClendon, but logic frequently vanishes when sports teams go bad and scapegoats are needed."
Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at