Dick Williams, who has taken three teams to the World Series, was named to succeed Chuck Cottier today as manager of the Seattle Mariners.
The announcement of Williams' appointment came 21 1/2 hours after the American League team, which has not had a winning season, fired Cottier, its fifth manager. Marty Martinez, a coach under Cottier, served as interim manager Thursday night in a 4-2 loss to Boston.
The Mariners made Williams' debut a successful one. Alvin Davis drove in eight runs with a single and two homers, including a grand slam, leading Seattle to a 13-3 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays tonight at the Kingdome.
Williams, 57, took over his sixth club in a major league managerial career that began with the Red Sox in 1967. He managed Boston for three years, Oakland for three, California for three, Montreal for five and San Diego for four.
Williams took Boston, Oakland and San Diego to the World Series. His 1972 and 1973 Oakland clubs won world championships. In 18 seasons, he has a 1,412-1,259 regular season record.
Regarded as a hard-liner in dealing with players, Williams reportedly was a compromise choice. Mariners owner George Argyros apparently wanted former Yankees manager Billy Martin, but some of the team's front-office people reportedly strongly opposed Martin.
Williams had a year left on his San Diego contract when he told associates late last season that he would not return without an extension. He quit in spring training.
In Seattle, he reportedly has a three-year contract at an estimated $200,000 a year, including incentives for victories and attendance.
Seattle had a 9-19 record when Cottier was fired. Cottier compiled the best won-lost percentage (.452, 98-119) of any Mariners manager.