American Association Daily provides insights and features on the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions going on with teams around the league. In today’s edition, Robert Pannier discusses John McLaren taking over as the manager of the Texas AirHogs.
John McLaren Takes Over AirHogs
The Texas AirHogs opted to go big this season by bringing in 20 players from the Chinese National team to fill their roster, so what better way to up the ante than by choosing a former a big league manager to lead them. On Monday, the team announced that John McLaren will take the reins of the team for the 2018 American Association season as he will take over for Billy Martin, Jr, who will focus on player personnel.
A Proven Winner
John McLaren has proven himself at every level of the sport. McLaren reached as high as AAA as a player, appearing in 36 games for the Memphis Red Birds (Houston Astros) in 1976. A year later he was coaching in the organization, where he proved to be a rising star.
By 1979 the Skipper earned his first managerial position, taking over Low-A Utica (Toronto Blue Jays). Two years later, he took over Mid-A Kingston and two seasons after that he was the manager at AA-Knoxville.
For the next 15 seasons McLaren coached, all at the Major League level. He spent time with the Blue Jays before moving to the Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, and Seattle Mariners. In 2001, he became Seattle’s interim manager where he posted a perfect 4-0 record.
He returned to coaching with the club and remained with the Mariners until 2002 when he joined the Tampa Bay Rays. He spent three seasons in Florida before returning to Seattle to become the bench coach in 2006. A year later, he would retake the helm of the team, finishing the season with a 44-41 record. McLaren returned as the manager a year later, but would be replaced after 72 games.
The Skipper returned to coaching, joining the Washington Nationals, where he would take over for Jim Riggleman as the team’s manager for three games in 2011, posting a 2-1 record. In 2013, McClaren took over for Terry Collins as the manager of the Chinese National Team during the World Baseball Classic, and led them to an upset over the Taiwanese team. He continued in that role through the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Featured Image Courtesy of Washington Nationals
American Association Daily Notes
The Sioux City Explorers announced that LHP Taylor Hyssong had been traded to Trois-Rivieres (Can-Am League) for a player to be named later…The Winnipeg Goldeyes signed RHP Cody Strayer. Strayer started last season in the Pecos League before joining the Salina Stockade. In Salina, he was 1-2 with a 4.96 ERA in 12 appearances…The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks signed RHP Randy McCurry. McCurry was in the Frontier League the last two seasons before joining Somerset (Atlantic League) this season. He was 1-0 in 4 appearances there before being released. The RedHawks also traded OF Patrick O’Donnell to Pittsburg (Pacific Association) for a player to be named later…The Chicago Dogs signed IF Trey Vavra. Vavra is a former Minnesota Twins prospect who split time between High-A Fort Myers and the Sioux Falls Canaries.
By Robert Pannier
Member of the IBWAA