A's tab Lachemann for bench coach

The Oakland A's welcomed back an old friend on Tuesday, as they announced that former A's coach Rene Lachemann will serve as the A's bench coach in 2005. Lachemann, who most recently served as the bench coach for the Seattle Mariners, replaces Chris Speier. He is the third bench coach the A's have had over the past three years.

The A's also ended any speculation that there would be further changes to the coaching staff, as they announced that all of the remaining members of the 2004 coaching staff had signed one year contracts. Third base coach Ron Washington, first base coach Brad Fischer, pitching coach Curt Young, bullpen coach Bob Geren and hitting coach Dave Hudgens will all be back on board for the 2005 season serving in the same capacities in which they served in 2004. There had been some speculation at the end of the season that rookie pitching coach Curt Young might be let go after a disappointing season for the pitching staff. However, both Manager Ken Macha and General Manager Billy Beane had expressed confidence in Young, noting his work with the younger pitchers in particular. Both second-year starter Rich Harden and rookie Justin Duchscherer had excellent seasons under Young's tutelage.

Lachemann is a long-time coaching veteran who served on Tony La Russa's coaching staff in Oakland from 1987-1992. He left the A's in 1993 to manage the Florida Marlins, where he stayed until 1996. He has also managed in Seattle (1981-1983) and Milwaukee (1984). He has also served as a manager in numerous minor and winter leagues and was a minor league manager within the A's organization for five years in the mid-1970's. Lachemann has also been on the coaching staffs in St. Louis, Chicago (Cubs), and Boston. He has appeared in four World Series, including all three of the A's appearances from 1988-1990 and with Boston in 1986.

In the A's official press release, Macha was quoted as saying that Lachemann's previous managerial experience was key to his hiring.

"I think it was important to have someone in the position who had previous managerial experience and Rene obviously fits that bill," said Macha. "He is an outstanding baseball man with a tremendous amount of experience both as a manager and coach. He will be very helpful on the bench and in the clubhouse."

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