Archive for Tuesday, October 5, 2004

MLB briefs

October 5, 2004

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Melvin fired by Mariners after 99-loss season

Seattle -- Bob Melvin was fired as manager of the Seattle Mariners on Monday, a day after the team ended the season with its 99th loss.

Melvin, who lasted two seasons, was told of the decision during a morning meeting at Safeco Field.

In May, the Mariners exercised the option on Melvin's contract for 2005 despite a 9-16 start. He led the team to a 93-69 record in 2003 after Lou Piniella left for Tampa Bay.

The Mariners left spring training expecting to contend for a playoff spot. Instead, they finished 63-99.

The front office also told most of the coaching staff -- hitting coach Paul Molitor, bench coach Rene Lachemann, first-base coach Mike Aldrete, third-base coach Dave Myers and bullpen coach Orlando Gomez -- they were free to pursue other jobs, though each remains under contract with Seattle through Oct. 31.

It was the team's worst season since going 64-98 in 1992. The Mariners last had a losing season in 1999. They had won at least 91 games every year since.

Blue Jays tap Gibbons to replace Tosca

Toronto -- John Gibbons is getting one chance to turn the Toronto Blue Jays around.

Gibbons was given a one-year contract Monday to return as manager after guiding the last-place Blue Jays to a 20-30 record during the final eight weeks of the season.

Gibbons took over as interim manager Aug. 8, when Carlos Tosca was fired after the team opened 47-64.

The team also hired former Blue Jays catcher Ernie Whitt as bench coach Monday, and Brad Arnsberg was named pitching coach. Arnsberg was previously a pitching coach for the Florida Marlins and Montreal Expos.

Toronto finished 67-94 this season, its most losses since 1980 (67-95).

Gibbons, 42, spent seven seasons as a minor league manager with the Mets and compiled a 482-420 record, then joined Toronto as its bullpen catcher in 2002. He had been the Blue Jays' first-base coach since Tosca took over for Buck Martinez on June 3, 2002.

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