The Royals today announced they have hired former Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu as bench coach, a crafty move no doubt in part to obtain the Mariners secret strategies in the Battle for Grass Creek. Wakamatsu, a former big league catcher, managed the Mariners in 2009 and part of the 2010 season. He took the Mariners to an 85-77 mark in 2009, their last winning season. But he was fired after a 42-70 start in 2010. Since then he has served as the Blue Jays bench coach, and spent last year as a scout for the Yankees. Wakamatsu was cited for "losing the clubhouse" in Seattle. He was hired by noted sabermetrically-friendly General Manager Jack Zduriencik, so he may be receptive to advanced stats, but he cites that on the field, stats may lead to "paralysis by analysis."
Wakamatsu joins former Cubs and Brewers manager Dale Sveum on the coaching staff as coaches with MLB managerial experience, so we're in good hands when Ned gets fired. Sveum was officially named third-base coach today as well.
Long-time organizational minor league manager and coach Mike Jirschele has also been added to the staff with the generic title "Major League Coach." Pitching coach Dave Eiland, hitting instructor Pedro Grifol,, first base coach Rusty Kuntz, and bullpen coach Doug Henry all retain their jobs.