Before all the player personnel decisions are made this offseason, the New York Mets had to first get their coaching staff in order behind Terry Collins. Friday, the team announced that it has hired former Athletics manager Bob Geren as bench coach, leaving the first base coach as the only vacancy after an offseason of reshuffling.
"Bob Geren's experience as a former manager and bench coach will be a great fit for us," manager Mets Terry Collins said in a statement as quoted by ESPN NY's Adam Rubin. "Adding a former major league catcher like Bob to our staff will be ideal."
New York had interviewed former Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman, but Geren's ties to the A's front office, where general manager Sandy Alderson was a GM from 1983 to 1997, won out. Geren remains close with current Oakland GM Billy Beane.
Geren, 50, managed the A's from 2007 to halfway through 2011, going 334-376 in the process. He takes over for Ken Oberkfell, who was fired at the end of the season.
The New York Daily News points out (and reminds us all) that Geren's tenure with the A's was controversial, as many of the players didn't take to his communication style.
A's reliever Brian Fuentes ripped Geren for his "unorthodox managing" earlier this season, while former A's closer Huston Street told the San Francisco Chronicle this year:
"Bob was never good at communication, and I don't want to speak for anybody else, but it was a sentiment reflected in many conversations during the two years I spent in Oakland, and even recently when talking to guys after I left.
"For me personally, he was my least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports from age 6 to 27. I am very thankful to be in a place where I can trust my manager."
This offseason, the Mets have promoted Triple-A manager Tim Teufel to be the third-base coach after Chip Hale left to become the bench coach of the A's; they also promoted Triple-A pitching coach Ricky Bones to bullpen coach. Former bullpen coach Jon Debus and former first-base coach Mookie Wilson could still possibily reassigned within the organization. Dave Hudgens (hitting coach) and Dan Warthen (pitching coach) are the only ones to retain their same roles.