Collins To Mookie: No Hard Feelings; Mets’ Alderson Says Change Was Needed
NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Mookie Wilson has been let go by the Mets. Again.
The team announced several changes to their staff Wednesday, saying Wilson will not be brought back as the first base coach.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he recently met with manager Terry Collins to discuss the staff for 2012. New York went 77-85 this season.
“We both agreed changes were necessary for us to move forward,” Alderson said.
Wilson is among the most popular Mets in team history. He was offered another job in the organization, and there was no indication of whether he would take it.
Wilson was dismissed three weeks before the 25th anniversary of the famed grounder he hit through Bill Buckner’s legs in the 1986 World Series.
“Hopefully, he understands he’s wanted here,” Collins said on a conference call.
Wilson was the Mets’ first base coach from 1997-2002, and felt slighted when he was not rehired then. He returned as the first base coach this season, with additional duties to oversee the outfielders and baserunning.
Wilson has often been seen by the Mets and their fans as a goodwill ambassador for the club.
Mets bench coach Ken Oberkfell, bullpen coach Jon Debus and third base coach Chip Hale will not be rehired. Hale has already joined the Oakland Athletics as their bench coach.
The Mets said Tim Teufel will take over as the third base coach and Ricky Bones will be the bullpen coach next year. Teufel was the Mets’ manager at Triple-A Buffalo this season.
Hitting coach Dave Hudgens and pitching coach Dan Warthen will return in their same spots.
Debus will be offered another spot with the team. He has a catching background, and Alderson said the team wanted more of a pitching presence in that bullpen role.
Alderson and Collins did not identify any candidates to become bench coach. Alderson said Double-A manager Wally Backman wasn’t likely to join the major league staff, but could possibly take Teufel’s spot at Buffalo.
“Wally has a history of motivating his players and having success,” said Alderson.
NOTES: LHP Johan Santana will finish his active rehabilitation program for this year on Saturday at the end of instructional league. Santana threw four innings last Friday. The two-time Cy Young winner did not pitch in the majors in 2011 while coming back from surgery on his left shoulder. He made three starts in the minors. “We are optimistic that Johan will be able to begin and maintain a spring training schedule with all other Mets pitchers next February and will be ready for the start of the 2012 season,” Alderson said in a statement.
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