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Oakland manager Bob Geren said he called his good friend during a phone call they shared Monday afternoon, and Wakamatsu “said he was OK.”

Geren and Wakamatsu once lived near each other in the Phoenix area, and their kids spent a chunk of their childhoods there. Geren and Wakamatsu coached together on a winter youth team in baseball offseasons _ the Ahwatukee Bandits.

Now both friends feel ripped off.

“I’m saddened,” Geren said. “He’s a good baseball man and a great man.”

Brown is a 10-year veteran of the Mariners‘ organization. The 43-year-old becomes Seattle’s seventh manager since Lou Piniella left with one year left on his contract following the 2002 season.

The sixth, Wakamatsu, has seemed to be on the way out since the worst July in team history _ 6-22.

“I appreciate the continued support of our fans,” Zduriencik said Monday, adding he takes “full responsibility” for the Mariners‘ collapse.

“This has been difficult to watch.”