Next up in my recounting of Pittsburgh Pirates managers is the notably fiery Lloyd McClendon, serving as skipper of the Buccos from the end of 2000 until the fall of 2005. While McClendon’s record while with the organization is something we’d all rather like to forget (an abysmal 336-446), it must be noted that his time as manager was anything but quiet.
I’m sure fans recall the specific incident I’m referring to when discussing McClendon’s passionate attitude toward managing. June 26th, 2001 is a date that will live in infamy for umpires’ everywhere as the day perhaps the greatest ejection in Major League history took place right in the Buccos’ home of PNC Park. After former Pirates’ catcher Jason Kendall was called out on a play at first base, McClendon proceeded to protest the call and was ejected.
The story doesn’t end there however; the former skipper was so irate, he took first base off of the field with him and placed it in the dugout where it stayed for the rest of the game (a walk-off win for the Buccos of all things).
While McClendon may be more memorable for this unique freak-out, his time in Pittsburgh was notably more enthusiastic, passionate, and lengthier than that of his predecessors Jim Tracy and John Russell. The Pirates’ record did not reflect this same passion during his tenure however, and McClendon would go on to see more success as a hitting coach than in any other post in his career.