BOSTON -- A calmer, cooler John McLaren took a seat on the bench in the visiting dugout at Fenway Park late Friday afternoon and expressed remorse for the profanity-laden episode that occurred two days earlier at Safeco Field. "I want to start this off in the proper way," the Mariners manager said. "I really used some inappropriate language, and I haven't had the nerve to call my mom yet. I apologize to the people who were offended." McLaren went on a 48-second verbal tirade following Wednesday afternoon's loss to the Angels, which completed a three-game sweep and buried the Mariners one game deeper in the American League West cellar.
The frustrations of a team expected to compete for a division championship having a 21-39 record finally caused McLaren to reach a boiling point, and he unloaded. "I don't apologize for what I said, I won't back off that, but my language was terrible," he said. "I know the 'bleeps' probably helped a lot, but still, I do apologize for the language." In the edited version, McLaren said the team has been playing hard with "nothing to show for it," that he and the players and the fans are tired of the losing and angry about it, and that the Mariners have to "buckle up and get after it. I'm tired of losing like this every [game]." A clip of the postgame outburst, with certain words bleeped out, was shown on various television outlets, including numerous times on ESPN. The first time McLaren saw a replay of it was on the team charter flying the Mariners to Boston on Wednesday evening. "I was listening to music, but we can get TV on the plane, and I could see myself," he said. "Something went up in front of my mouth every five seconds or so. I knew that with cameras in front of me, it wasn't going to be a secret." Lee Elia, a special assistant to McLaren who rejoined the team on Friday, can relate to McLaren's outburst. Elia had one of the most infamous postgame meltdowns in MLB history 25 years ago when he was the Cubs manager. "I could feel for Mac," Elia said. "I know where he's coming from. Everything he said was right on the money. I don't think there was anything said that was not true. I have known him for a long time, and just from watching the games on TV for the 3 1/2 weeks I have been away from the team, I could sense his frustration." McLaren said the "Mac Attack" was not scripted in any way, shape or form. "It's not like I had a list to start staying this, this and this," he said. "There was something I felt and I let it out. I went up to mic, looked at you all and thought, 'Here we go again.' You would ask me the same questions and I would give the same answers. I decided to do something different and something just hit me. I couldn't turn back, and the rest is history. "Like I said, the language was very, very regrettable."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.