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Wakamatsu has talked to Showalter, weighing other options

Former Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu's focus today is on his son, Jake, who is playing in a baseball tournament in Florida. It's a welcome distraction from the ongoing talks about where Wakamatsu will either manage -- or coach -- in 2011.

Wakamatsu was Buck Showalter's bench coach for the Texas Rangers from 2003 to 2006, and the two remain close friends. Therefore, it's not surprising that Wakamatsu is on Showalter's list as a potential candidate for his 2011 Orioles coaching staff.

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"I've talked to Buck a little about it, just the situation that's going on there," Wakamatsu said. "We haven't talked about anything concrete yet. He's putting together his coaching staff, and I'm weighing my options."

Wakamatsu, who was fired by the Mariners in early August, said he's still involved in talking to clubs about both managing and coaching jobs. He declined to offer specifics, though the Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers and Florida Marlins are teams that have managerial vacancies.

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"There is a lot out there right now that I have to make some decisions on," said Wakamatsu, who has three kids with his wife, Laura. The family lives in Texas. "I also have an option to stay home with my family, which is kind of nice. There is a lot I need to weigh right now."

Wakamatsu acknowledged that an opportunity to reunite with Showalter makes a potential coaching job with the Orioles an attractive option.

"I don't know too many men that are more intelligent and understand the game like he does," Wakamatsu said of Showalter. "To work with somebody like that is a benefit. I've already benefited from it."

Wakamatsu is a former catcher who played 18 games in the majors for the Chicago White Sox. If he joins the Orioles' staff, a big part of his duties will most likely be working with young catcher Matt Wieters.

Jeff Datz, the Orioles' bench coach last season, did a nice job with Wieters, but it's uncertain whether he'll be back on Showalter's staff for 2011. Some expect Datz to go to Seattle and work under new Mariners manager Eric Wedge, who was his boss for several years in Cleveland.

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