Meditations on Lloyd McClendon


== Is this guy nuts? ==

I conclude that Lloyd McClendon is not nuts.

At least that’s my tentative conclusion.  So far.

My sense is this:

  • McClendon believes very strongly that he is a master motivator.
  • McClendon believes he can pick a Motivation Technique that is right for every player.
  • Once he picks his Motivation Technique, then his loyalty is to the Motivation Technique.
  • He does not feel he owes the media or the fans anything that would override his duty to the Motivation Technique.
  • He is willing to lose some games and look foolish in order to carry out a Motivation Technique.


Abraham Almonte:  Unswerving Confidence

McClendon decided that Almonte, the recovering alcoholic, required absolute confidence.  That is, McClendon had his back No. Matter. What.

It’s understandable that McClendon felt the need for a “true” center fielder, and felt that Almonte could fill the bill.  And clearly he felt that Unswerving Confidence in Almonte would eventually pay off.

Needless to say, he was willing to look foolish in pursuit of his Technique, and he did.  Plenty.

And did it work?  Well, no.


Erasmo Ramirez: Toughen Him Up

It seems that McClendon concluded that e-RAM was soft.  As opposed to “having his back,” McClendon decided that Ramirez needed to get toughened up.

So, McClendon singled out e-RAM for criticism and faint praise.

Again, he didn’t mind looking odd, ripping into his pitcher after more than one strong showing.

And did it work?  Well, no.


Dustin Ackley: Leave Him Alone

McClendon apparently decided that all of Ackley’s problems stemmed from being asked to play a tougher defensive position.

So no more center field, let alone second base.  Stick him in left field and let him be.

And the fans deserve no more explanation than “because I said so.”

And did it work?  Well, not really.


So Almonte gets praise whether deserved or not; Ramirez gets scoffed at whether deserved or not; Ackley is on auto-pilot apparently.


Of course, in his mind, I think, “real” McClendon is none of these guises.  McClendon views himself as the “drill sergeant with the gooey center” who is just trying to push the right buttons.

And, after a month, he is showing the flexibility that he needs.  Maybe that was his plan all along.

Clearly he thought Confident Almonte, Hard-Nosed Erasmo and Placid Ackley would be valuable contributors, and it was worth some quizzical actions and statements to coax them into being.

But now the pencil has been worn down by reality.  And, at the end of the day, there wasn’t too much collateral damage.

So we’ll see where McClendon goes from here.



3 thoughts on “Meditations on Lloyd McClendon

  1. Wasn’t he also the guy who said, “I love you-but if you can’t do the job, I’ll find somebody who will”?
    And also something like, “it takes a month to really find anything out”.
    Seems to me he’s a man of his words…at least in these cases.

  2. Pencil has worn my confidence down to a stub so small I’m having a problem holding onto it at all. I’m impressed by what the team has accomplished with a truncated rotation, against an apparition of a catch rule and in spite of wet noodle bats. However it seems to me they have accomplished this in spite of his best efforts to portray himself as an effective major league manager. There’s talk of another “Major League” movie, if so he should be in it as himself.

  3. I too have noticed that McClendon considers himself a master of amateur baseball psychology.

    He used a variation of the “Unwavering Confidence” strategy for Tom Wilhelmsen early on. He was “his guy” for the first few weeks and McClendon even brought him in to face Mike Trout the day after a cataclysmic implosion by Tom.

    McClendon also seems to be using “Toughen Him Up” in regards to Michael Saunders. I don’t think McClendon has said many kind words about Condor even at this point. He doesn’t like his defense in center, he apparently couldn’t play against lefties (until a few days ago). He hasn’t let him have a green light on the bases yet. He even criticized his bunting, saying he needed 3-run home runs, not bunts.

    McClendon does some good things but he also does strange things. It seems like he calls all steal attempts and hit-and-runs. The number of failed running plays this year is incredible. For a team with pretty good speed, their complete lack of a running game is mind blowing.

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