Fewer than three months after being promoted to a position as Mariners assistant player personnel director, the team says Leslie Manning resigned of her own accord. Manning had been the team's top-ranking woman in its baseball operations department prior to her departure.
Mariners assistant player personnel director Leslie Manning has resigned from the squad fewer than three months after being promoted to that position.
Manning, 29, had been the highest-ranking female member of the team’s baseball operations department before resigning Jan. 16. The Mariners say the decision to leave was Manning’s and because of that, they are limited in what they can say.
“It was her choice, and we’re going to miss her,” Mariners spokesman Tim Hevly said Monday. “We thought she did a great job.”
Manning did not respond to calls and texts left on her private cellphone Monday seeking an explanation for the departure. Mariners employees were told privately last month during a staff meeting at the team’s Arizona offices — where Manning was based — that she had decided to leave of her own accord.
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Her personal website, in which Manning goes under her maiden name of Leslie Herrmann, now describes her as “formerly” with the team but does not list any new or upcoming positions.
The Mariners announced Manning’s promotion Nov. 1 after she’d spent two years as the team’s coordinator of professional development. Her new role made her the equivalent of an assistant farm director under Mariners player development head Andy McKay.
“Over the past two years, Leslie has earned the trust and respect of our staff and players,” McKay said at the time. “Her ability to create clarity and bring accountability to our process is unparalleled. In her new position, she will have a wider reach and will ensure that our actions meet our words throughout the entire organization.’’
The Mariners have yet to name a replacement for Manning’s position, which had been largely tailored around her specific skills. She has spent a decade working in baseball at the collegiate, professional minor and major-league level, including a past stint in baseball operations with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the MLB labor relations department.
Her website states that her work with the Mariners saw her lead “players, staff, and executives to become the best versions of themselves by providing tools, resources, and metrics to refine their purpose, vision, goals, and habits with intentional focus.
“A bilingual Spanish-English speaker, she has reimagined Latino player education and skill acquisition to cultivate strong, dynamic men on and off the field at the Dominican Republic Academy through all Stateside Mariner affiliates.”
Manning also founded the NextStep Baseball consulting company in which she coached player clients “to trust themselves, build strong character, lead demonstratively and intentionally craft their personal brands — positive, powerful, and visible responses ensued.”
A Sports Illustrated feature on the team last summer listed her as one of several key hires brought in by general manager Jerry Dipoto to try to end the franchise’s longstanding playoff drought. “Leslie is as authentic a communicator as I’ve ever heard,” Dipoto told the magazine, adding she averaged 20 nights per month on the road, meeting with coaches for every team in the organization and helping them “increase their personal awareness” and “home in on our staff dynamic.”
Dipoto said in a text message to The Seattle Times on Monday that Manning “did a tremendous job and will be missed.”
Seattle Times reporter Ryan Divish contributed to this story.