SEATTLE - Don Wakamatsu hopes he has more answers for the Seattle Mariners than he has years of experience as a major league manager.

It's a safe bet he will - the former Oakland bench coach has never managed in the majors.

Looking for a new direction, the sunken Mariners picked Wakamatsu over several other inexperienced candidates in the hope he can lead them to a rebound from a 100-loss season.

Wakamatsu was hired as Mariners manager Tuesday, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.

The team is expected to make an announcement sometime Wednesday. KING television in Seattle first reported that Wakamatsu got the job.

"This is a heck of an opportunity," he said last week after he interviewed in Seattle with new Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik and team president Chuck Armstrong.

And now about those answers ...

Wakamatsu becomes Seattle's fifth manager since Lou Piniella left following the 2002 season. He replaces Jim Riggleman, who took over in June when John McLaren was fired after a 25-47 start to a season in which the Mariners were expected to contend for the playoffs. Riggleman wasn't even considered.

McLaren was on the job less than 12 months, after Mike Hargrove quit suddenly in the middle of the 2007 season - the last time Seattle was winning.

The Mariners lost 101 games this season, its most since 1983.


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