With the disappointing season over, both teams knew that changes needed to come, although the decisions made were somewhat of a surprise to baseball. The Nationals and Mariners decided to relieve managers Matt Williams and Lloyd McClendon of their duties, both of whom just finished their second season as manager.
The Nats made big offseason moves, including signing Max Scherzer to a major deal, but had a hard time catching up to the up-and-coming New York Mets in the NL East. Frustration started to boil over late in the season for Washington, including a dugout scuffle between teammates Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon during a game.
The once World Series favorites finished the season at 83-79, good for second place in the division, seven games behind the Mets. The Nats also dropped their win total 13 games from last season, which is the second-largest in the majors behind the Milwaukee Brewers' 14.
Williams was very successful in his first season with the club, despite being knocked out in the NLDS, and went on to win Manager of the Year honors. He is now the first manager to be fired one season after winning the award, which was first presented in 1983.
The Nats look to rebuild the team quick in the off-season, as they search for a guy that can get the stars they have signed to play up to their potential.
The Mariners struggled last season, but this season was suppose to be different. The M's, Angels, and Athletics were expected to be near the top of the AL West, not the Astros and Rangers. Instead, with the Rangers winning the division, the Mariners finished with a record of 76-86, 12 games out of first.
The under-achieving bunch announced Friday that they have relieved McClendon of his duties, just minutes after it was released that he was on the hot seat. This decision came from new general manager Jerry Dipoto, who was hired just a week ago into the team's front office.
McClendon and Dipoto reportedly had "different baseball views" and the new GM decided to go with his routine.
Dipoto took over for Jack Zduriencik and wants to start his tenure with a new manager, despite McClendon being under contract for the 2016 season. The new M's GM was recently with the Angels' organization, a relationship that ended last summer after differing views with manager Mike Scioscia.
Scioscia was already with the team when Dipoto was hired, but now Dipoto wants to start with someone that he chooses to run the team. He has offered hitting coach Edgar Martinez and infield coach Chris Woodward to stay with the team.
Dipoto says he is looking for an energetic coach, who is a good teacher and has experience in a major league clubhouse, but also mentions that previous managing experience is not necessary. The GM says he already has a list in mind, which means the search for a new manager may not take too long.