Jobless in Seattle

By Gary Norris Gray, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: August 9, 2010

CALIFORNIA (BASN) — Major League Baseball just seems to keep stubbing its toes. On Monday afternoon, the Seattle Mariners fired their manager Don Wakamatsu.

Wakamatsu was the first and only Asian manager in MLB history. He finished his tenure with a record of 127-147 in two years. Seattle is once again mired in last place in the AL West with no real future ahead.

This is what led to the release of Wakamatsu.

The Seattle ownership has to make a commitment at striving for a winning team. This has not been the case the last four years in the great Northwest. This team is in complete free fall.

He also had to manage the return of superstar Ken Griffey Jr. to Seattle and the alleged sleeping incident in the dugout.

Former Baltimore Oriole Lynn Sakata, who is currently a minor league manager in the Japanese Leagues, stated a year ago that MLB doesn’t truly seek Asian managers.

Most of the good ones are now managing in the Japanese League and are very happy in their culture. The Japanese manager views baseball in a very different light unlike Americans.

They take the game seriously and their of practicing most Americans dislike.

A BRIEF BACKGROUND

A Northern California Bay Area star, Wakamatsu lettered in three sports. He played baseball at Arizona State University with Barry Bonds and football with Jack Del Rio.

He is well grounded and balanced between sports and life. I saw him play years ago when the Sun Devils visited the University of California at Berkeley.

In 1985, Wakamatsu was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds as the 11th round of the Amateur Draft and only played one complete MLB year as a catcher with the Chicago White Sox in 1991.

He was considered for the manager’s spot in Oakland when it was available in 2006 but they hired Bob Geren instead. He built his baseball resume with the Arizona and Texas organizations taking the helm for two days when Buck Showalter was in the hospital in 2006.

He became third base coach in 2007 with the Rangers as Ron Washington took over the team as manager. Two years later, he was hired by the Mariners to guide them out of the AL West basement.

It has not happened and he was let go Monday afternoon.

Seattle started the night with their fifth manager in three years plus one month. Daren Brown, the manager of Triple-A Tacoma for the last three-plus seasons, took over on an interim basis hours before their game against Oakland.