In a development only slightly less surprising than Layne Staley’s death by misadventure, the Mariners fired manager John McLaren earlier today, and followed the move with hints of further bloodletting. From the Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker :

The players were down here at Safeco Field as the John McLaren firing press conference was taking place. Both Richie Sexson and Jose Vidro were on the team bus that left for the airport moments ago. Interim GM Lee Pelekoudas was asked after the press conference whether today’s move sends the wrong message to players.

After all, the team has fired a hitting coach, GM and manager within 10 days of each other while no players from opening day have been moved.

“I don’t think it does,” Pelekoudas said. “Because they know the other shoe could drop any day. They should know. It’s always there.”

Lee Elia, rapidly climbing the professional ladder once again, is going to be Jim Riggelman’s new bench coach.

Does anyone know how many day games are remaining at Safeco this year?  Of the M’s interim skipper, ESPN’s Rob Neyer writes, “Riggleman has managed seven full seasons in the majors, during which his teams finished seventh, fourth, third, fourth, fifth, second and sixth. In his sixth season, his Cubs jumped all the way from 68-94 to 90-73 ¦ then fell back to 67-95 the next season. After which he was fired.”  So at least Seattle’s going with a known commodity.