Wakamatsu lands spot on Blue Jays bench


The Toronto Blue Jays announced Nov. 8 that former Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu — the first Asian American to manage a major league club — will serve as the team’s bench coach for the 2011 season under new manager John Farrell.

Wakamatsu has also been selected as one of several candidates slated to interview for the position of manager of the New York Mets.

The Blue Jays have not prohibited Wakamatsu from interviewing for or taking the New York job should new general manager Sandy Alderson select the former Mariners skipper to fill the shoes of Jerry Manuel, who was fired by the Mets in October.

In a year and a half as manager of the Mariners, Wakamatsu went 127-147, winning 85 games in his first season, but struggling in his second before getting terminated in August.

Wakamatsu, a former star high school athlete in the East Bay city of Hayward, Calif., served as the bench coach of the Oakland Athletics prior to his hiring by Seattle.

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