Bullpen coach Norm Charlton told he won't back with Mariners
Mariners bullpen coach Norm Charlton says he was told by new manager Don Wakamatsu that he will not be retained.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Mariners bullpen coach Norm Charlton will not be back with the team in 2009.
Charlton confirmed today that new Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu telephoned him over the weekend with the news. The Mariners are expected to name Texas Rangers minor-league pitching coordinator Rick Adair, an ex-Mariners minor-leaguer, as Charlton's replacement.
"Mr. Wakamatsu told me that, in fairness to his pitching coach, he wanted to be able to bring in his own bullpen coach," Charlton said. "I understand that. That's how it works sometimes."
The departure of Charlton joins that of pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre and bench coach Lee Elia, who were each told over the weekend they would not be back. Interim manager Jim Riggleman and third-base coach Sam Perlozzo have already taken jobs with the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies, respectively, while first-base coach Eddie Rodriguez joined the Kansas City Royals.
That leaves the Mariners with an entirely different coaching staff than the one that began the 2008 season. The only holdover from 2008 will be Jose Castro, who took over as hitting coach midway through the season.
Castro said in an interview today that he had not been told of his status. But sources have confirmed he will be back.
It also appears likely the Mariners will soon name former Texas Rangers bullpen coach Dom Chiti — who joined the Atlanta Braves as a special assistant to the GM recently — as Seattle's new pitching coach. Chiti and Adair worked together in Texas and Charlton's comments make it seem as if Wakamatsu wants to bring in a bullpen coach already known to Chiti.
Two sources in Atlanta said today the Mariners had yet to contact them for permission to talk to Chiti. That means any announcement on the remainder of the coaching staff likely won't come until after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Charlton said he plans to contact Pedro Grifol, the new director of minor-league operations for the Mariners, about a job within the organization. If that doesn't work out, he'll try to seek a job with KIRO's new all-sports radio channel.
"I've been in this game a long time," Charlton said. "It's something I've been doing since I was a teenager in high school. It's a part of me and what I do."
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read his daily blog at www.seattletimes.com/Mariners
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