NEW YORK – A day after he was hired as the New York Mets' bench coach, Jim Riggleman acknowledged that he should have been a Mickey Callaway fired. "I certainly understand that, but I just don 't let me go there,' Riggleman said Tuesday. "I really did anticipate that the ballclub is going to pick it up and left it in the second half last year." New York started 11-1 last season in Callaway's first season as a manager, then struggled with injuries and faded to 44-63 by early August before finishing fourth in the NL East at 77-85. "I do not think there's any issue with any perception Because I think we're going to get it out of the way we're doing it, we're getting out of the blocks in April, "Riggleman said.Riggleman's agent, Burton Rocks, what about the job by Mets senior adviser Omar Minaya even before new Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was hired last month. The 66-year-old Riggleman interviewed Van Wagenen, Callaway, assistant general manager John Ricco and Minaya.Riggleman was Cincinnati's bench coach and became interim manager for the final five-plus months last season. He led the Reds to a 64-80 record after the team's 3-15 start under Bryan Price. David Bell was hired by the Reds on Oct. 21.In a 2-1, 10-inning loss at Riggleman's Reds on May 9, New York's Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores batted out of order because of the hand-picked lineup card posted on the Mets 'dugout.' It's one of the things that got by, but, believe me, it's all done by this person, "Riggleman said. "Now, sometimes it happened in the minor leagues and it's looking for an eye-opening experience for you that just say, wow, as many times as we looked at that lineup, that one got by us." Riggleman thus manages the Chicago Cubs (1995-99), Seattle (2008) and Washington (2009-11). He has a 726-904 (.445) record as a big league manager. He traded his new job under Jim Tracy with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Price. "Did not know each other," he said. "We knew each other as acquaintances, but we became very close friends professionally and personally."


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