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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mets Looking at Bob Geren for Bench Coach, Not Larry Bowa

The Mets are making progress in its search for a bench coach, according to NJ Star Ledger..

One candidate,  former Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman interviewed yesterday. Another candidate,  former Oakland Athletics manager Bob Geren will interview later this week, while Larry Bowa is not considered a candidate.

When the Mets axed Ken Oberkfell last week, part of a major shake-up to the big-league staff, team officials explained they were looking for a bench coach with big-league experience to complement Collins. Bowa spent three seasons on Collins’ staff with the Anaheim Angels in the late 1990s.

Today, the MLB Network reported that Bowa would interview. Bowa, the fiery former manager in San
Diego and Philadelphia, works as an analyst for the network.

But while Bowa’s name has surfaced several times, one person with knowledge of the situation indicated there was “nothing” imminent.

That leaves two concrete candidates. Like Riggleman, Geren’s managerial tenure this season ended in acrimony. The Athletics fired Geren, 50, in June as the team spiraled downward. He assembled a 334-376 record from 2007 to 2011.

Geren spent more than 10 seasons in the Oakland organization, and was considered close with general manager Billy Beane. But things took a turn for the worse early this season. He publicly sparred with reliever Brian Fuentes. One of his former players, Rockies closer Huston Street, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Geren was “my least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports.”

Regardless, the Mets felt inclined to bring him in to talk. It was Geren’s departure that kick-started the chain reaction that led the Mets to overhaul their coaching staff. Bob Melvin replaced him in Oakland. A friend and colleague of Melvin, Chip Hale, left the Mets’ staff last week to serve as the Athletics’ bench coach.

With Hale gone, team officials decided their current staff was too thin in terms of major-league experience. Hale was critical to the 2011 staff’s pregame preparation.

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