“I think it’s really important that we had somebody within the organization, somebody outside the organization and somebody connected to last year’s staff, too,” Wedge said Thursday in a conference call. ” “We really tried to cover the bases.”
Hiring the coaching staff was the first major step for Wedge and Zduriencik as a team. Wedge was hired a little more than two weeks ago.
“We’re happy with the staff we were able to put together,” Zduriencik said. “Eric and I spent a lot of time together as we considered our needs and desires.”
Chambliss, 61, played on four World Series champions with the Yankees and has worked 13 years as a major league hitting coach with the Yankees, Cardinals, Mets and Reds. He managed the past two years at Class AAA Charlotte in the White Sox organization. “He’s a guy who really knows hitting,” Wedge said. “His experiences and his presence are going to be a big plus for us as we get our hitting program on track.”
Thompson, 48, was a two-time All-Star in an 11-year career with the San Francisco Giants and spent the past eight seasons as a special assistant with the Cleveland Indians. He will assist Wedge in all facets of the game as bench coach and also oversee infield instruction.
“I’m glad he’s decided to get back on the field,” Wedge said. “I think he has a great mind, a championship presence and he’s just a good baseball guy.”
Pitching * Carl Willis
Willis, 49, was the Indians’ pitching coach for seven seasons under Wedge. He began this year as the Mariners’ minor league pitching coordinator before becoming pitching coach Aug. 9 when Rick Adair was fired along with Wakamatsu.
Navarro, 43, worked the past three seasons as a pitching coach in the Mariners’ minor league system, including pitching coach this year on a Rainiers team that won the Pacific Coast League championship. “I ask a lot of coaches and I ask them to be accountable,” Wedge said. “They have to understand it is a process, especially with young players. I do know we’re going to start getting this thing going in the right direction.”
First base * Mike Brumley
Mike Brumley, who started the season as Wakamatsu’s third-base coach and moved to first base in midseason. Brumley, 47, will be Wedge’s first-base coach. Brumley and Wedge were teammates with the 1991 Boston Red Sox.
Third base * Jeff Datz
Datz, 50, was both a third-base coach and bench coach under Wedge in Cleveland. He spent last year as the bench coach with the Orioles.
“For our needs as a third-base coach, I think he’ll do a fantastic job as far as his preparation and understanding situations,” Wedge said. “He’ll also help me organizing each day and staying ahead of the game.”
It does sound like a good mix.
Sad to see Wette go though – he had a way with those bp guys…