After a ten year minor league career as a catcher with one brief stint in the majors during the 1991, that stint was as a backup catcher with the White Sox where he exclusively caught the knuckleball from Charlie Hough.
In 1997 he became a manager in the D-Backs minor leagues, during his first full season as manager in 1998 the High Desert Mavericks finished in 2nd place and lost in the second round of the playoffs. In 1999 he was promoted to AA manager where they finished in 7th place, the next year he joined the Angels where he managed the AA affiliate.
From 2003-2006 he served as the bench coach for the Texas Rangers and was considered a candidate for their managerial job when Buck Showalter left. After not getting the job he remained with the team in 2007 but moved to the third base coaches box and in 2008 moved on to Oakland where he was the bench coach.
The Mariners hired him in 2009 as their manager and in his first year they produced an amazing 85-77 a 24 game turn around. The new GM and manager were hailed throughout the Northwest for their success. But the next year when they posted the exact same record as the 2008 team with just 61 wins the GM saved his job by firing the manager.
Now some say that Don is still the high rising strategist that was blamed for a poor roster, while others say the roster under achieved and that he lost the club house.
Wakamatsu watched Griffey slump this season to the point the manager finally benched him. Griffey then drove home in early June to retirement in Florida in a huff without saying goodbye to most in Seattle. The manager sent an irate Bradley home from a game in May, and the next day Bradley asked him and the GM for help dealing with emotional issues.
Wakamatsu has also had multiple public spats with Figgins, whom Zduriencik signed to a $36 million free-agent contract before the season. The most recent incident was an in-game fracas of shouting, shoving and infielder Jose Lopez getting his jersey pulled over his back. That happened inside the home team's dugout in full view of half the stadium and a national television audience. source Huffington Post
Dave Lennon see's Wakamatsu as an Alderson type guy...