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November 8, 2010

Wakamatsu heads to Blue Jays

Former Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu will become the Toronto Blue Jays' new bench coach, according to multiple reports.

Wakamatsu, 47, was considered a leading candidate to fill the same role under Orioles manager Buck Showalter. Wakamatsu was Showalter’s bench coach for the Texas Rangers from 2003 to 2006.

The former catcher, who played 18 games for the Chicago White Sox in 1991, will join new manager John Farrell in Toronto. He was scheduled to meet with the New York Mets on Wednesday about their managerial opening.

The Mariners fired Wakamatsu in August. Seattle had a 127-147 (.464) record in his season-plus as manager.

Former Orioles starting pitcher Pat Hentgen will also become the Blue Jays' new bullpen coach, reports said. Hentgen had previously been serving in the team's front office.

Hentgen, who won the American League Cy Young Award with Toronto in 1996, went 9-15 with a 4.26 ERA in 41 games (35 starts) for the Orioles from 2001 to 2003.

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Posted by Steve Gould at 4:48 PM | | Comments (14)



I thought he was supposed to interview for the Mets managerial opening today or tomorrow...

Does this say anything about his relationship with Buck? It seems the Baltimore job would have been a better fit for him. Do we know anything about the financial end of it? We need a good bench coach, one who can fit the Buck way of doing things. Maybe a guy like BJ Surhoff would be good here, always a consistent hitter and def a fan favorite. BJ was known for putting in hard work and that is what will pay off.

Why do we need a bench coach, anyway? Did Earl Weaver have a bench coach? Where did this come from? I'd like Buck to stand up and say, "I don't need a bench coach, so I'm not hiring one." Seriously, if anyone knows how this bench coach thing started, I'd like to hear it.

This is absolutely going to be the craziest thing I've ever written here.

Why not reach out to Dave Trembley?

The man spent, what, 25 years in the Minors managing and knows the players.Like Samuel, Trembley is highly regarded in baseball circles and he's not up for a managing gig this offseason

Do you think that he felt he had a better chance of replacing Farrell at some point than Buck so he went there?


Perhaps. Or it could be as simple as money

bench coaxhes are not needed in basball. they played better than a 100 years without them. they are not needed now

Maybe Wakamatsu saw the path back to being a manager easier in Toronto than in Baltimore, with Farrell having no managerial experience. No one is going to replace Buck here anytime soon.

Perhaps Mr.Wakamatsu prefers to be paid in Loonies instead of Dollars. If I could get Loonies I'd take them over the Dollar.

I'd rather see the club have no bench coach until there is a demonstrated need. Guys like Trembley need a bench coach. I don't think Showalter does.

I don't see this as a reflection on Showalter at all.

Maybe Wakamatsu saw the path back to being a manager easier in Toronto than in Baltimore, with Farrell having no managerial experience. No one is going to replace Buck here anytime soon.

Posted by: TommyBob | November 8, 2010 7:21 PM

Probably true, but he also has a better chance to win in Toronto.

How about hiring Rick Dempsey as bench coach?

Jeff, Now that Buck appears to be short of bench coach candidates, is there any chance he would offer the job to Samuel instead of third base?

Sorry Steve, I thought this was Jeff Z's post.
No worries, Chris. Obviously, most of the posts on this blog are from Jeff or Dan. To answer your question, it's an interesting idea to kick around, but I don't see it happening. The Orioles and Samuel haven't yet been able to agree on terms for him to become a third base coach, so them reaching agreement on becoming bench coach seems far-fetched, even if he was a guy Showalter was comfortable with having as somewhat of a right-hand man, which I'm not sure he is. It might also be pretty awkward for Samuel, who declined Showalter's offer to be his third base coach after Showalter took over last season because it made him too uncomfortable.

For Bench Coach,

I would like to see either Damon Berryhill or John Kruk.

Either of these two would be fine additions to the coaching staff.

There's plenty of bench coaches out there. Heck, even Grady Little would be a groovy choice!

A bench coach is a total waste of money. If the manager is not smart enough to run the ballgame, get another manager.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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