Is Mariners’ Scott Servais a good manager? MLB insider explains

May 18, 2024, 7:12 PM | Updated: May 21, 2024, 12:51 pm

Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais...

Manager Scott Servais of the Seattle Mariners before a 2024 game. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

(Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

If there’s been one constant with Seattle Mariners baseball over the past several years, it’s manager Scott Servais.

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Servais is in his ninth season leading the Seattle clubhouse. Only the revered Lou Piniella (10 years) has spent more time as the team’s manager. In fact, no one else even comes close to the tenures of Servais and Piniella. The next closest would be the four years the franchise’s first-ever coach, Darrell Johnson, spent in Seattle.

The sort of stability Servais has brought to the Mariners is a rarity for a franchise that’s had 20 mangers in less than 50 years, but there are many fans that would like to see him go for some reason or another. Oftentimes it’s due to the lack of offense, lineup construction or late-game decisions with the bullpen.

Is Servais a good manager? Seattle Sports’ co-hosts Bob Stelton and Dave Wyman asked longtime ESPN MLB analyst Tim Kurkjian that question when joined Wyman and Bob on Thursday.

“Virtually every fanbase whose team isn’t (playing) up to expectations is going to blame the manager,” Kurkjian said. “It happens all the time. It’s just a part of the game. It usually drives me crazy because I just don’t think it’s fair, but this is not Scott Servais’ fault that this team is 23rd in runs scored. You can inspire people all you want, but when you run up against great pitching and you have trouble, it’s not the manager’s fault.”

Servais is the second-winningest manager in club history with 640 victories – which is exactly 200 behind the legendary Piniella – and led the team to winning seasons in five of eight campaigns entering 2024. He’s also the only coach to guide the team to the postseason other than Piniella, who did so in 1995, 1997, 2000 and 2001.

In 2021, Servais took a group that many expected to be an afterthought into the final weekend of the season with a playoff berth still attainable. The Mariners were 90-72 that season despite finishing with a minus-51 run differential. It was the club’s first 90-win season since 2003. He and the Mariners broke the franchise’s 21-year playoff drought the following season.

“He’s one of the better managers, period,” Kurkjian said. “He’s got a great understanding of what he’s doing. He was a good player in his day (and) he’s great with people”

Listen to the full conversation with ESPN MLB insider Tim Kurkjian at this link or in the audio player near the top of this story. Tune in to Wyman and Bob weekdays from 2-6 p.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

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Is Mariners’ Scott Servais a good manager? MLB insider explains