The Mets announced coaching changes this afternoon. Ken Oberkfell (bench), Chip Hale (3B), Mookie Wilson (1B) and Jon Debus (bullpen) will not be back next year. Tim Teufel will coach third base in place of Hale, who has already signed as the Oakland A’s bench coach, and Ricky Bones will replace Debus. Dave Hudgens (hitting) and Dan Warthen (pitching) will return in their 2011 roles. Wilson and Debus will be offered other positions in the organization.
I’m a bit surprised by such a large coaching staff change considering how this year was a good step in the right direction (despite the won/lost record) away from the past and toward a more positive future. I’m a bit sentimental to see Mookie go again but am thankful he’ll likely remain in the organization. I don’t know how well Debus did his job but I’ll miss saying “help me, Debus” on every call to the bullpen.
It’s interesting that Oberkfell was not mentioned as one of the coaches the Mets will offer another job to since it was only a few years ago that he was considered a future manager. This can probably be chalked up to Oberkfell not being a Sandy Alderson guy. Not that he and Alderson didn’t get along (There’s no way I could know that) but perhaps their philosophies are different. Another possibility is that he has his eyes on managing but Terry Collins just signed a 3 year extension and posed a road block to that goal.