Mets hire Bob Geren to be the bench coach

The Mets announced they have hired Bob Geren to be their new bench coach.

“Bob Geren’s experience as a former manager and bench coach will be a great fit for us,” Terry Collins said in a statement. “Adding a former major league catcher like Bob to our staff will be ideal.”

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Matthew Cerrone: I don’t know much about Geren, other than it seems he had some issues with Brian Fuentes and Huston Street in Oakland, where he was fired with a losing record, but where he didn’t have a whole lot to work with. The people I’ve talked with about in, they all see he’s a pretty serious guy. He loves the game. He loves teaching and working with players. He’s tough, as he was a catcher, and, much like Terry Collins said about himself when taking the top job last winter, it sounds like (if he needs to work on anything) it’s his communication skills – which is interesting, since that will be one of his primary responsibilities as bench coach (communicating messages from the manager to the players, and the players to the manager). Like I said, I am not a Geren Expert by any means, but the people I talked with this week (from A’s fans, to people close to the Mets, to people who have worked for him) all say he should do quite well and is a solid choice to be bench coach for the Mets. Good luck, Bob.

Geren replaces Ken Oberkfell as the team’s bench coach, who was let go last week along with Jon Debus (bullpen coach) and Mookie Wilson (first base/outfield coach).

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Geren, 50, managed the Oakland Athletics from 2007 until he was fired after 63 games into the 2011 season. During his tenure with the Athletics, Geren was 334-376. Prior to becoming manager of the A’s, he served as manager of their Single-A affiliate in 1999, Triple-A affiliate from 2000 – 2002 and then served as the A’s bench coach through 2006. He also served as a manager in the Red Sox minor league system from 1995-1998, tallying a 452-390 record in seven years.

Geren was originally drafted by the Padres in 1979 and spent ten years in the minor leagues before making his major league debut with the Yankees in 1988. He played more than 60 games just once over his brief five year career with the Yankees and Padres, and he hit .233 with 22 home runs and 76 RBI in 765 career at bats.