Nieto hired to coach catchers

Updated: November 26, 2004, 5:21 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets hired former New York Yankees hitting coach Rick Down for the same job on Friday, reuniting him with new manager Willie Randolph.

The Mets also hired former major league catcher Tom Nieto to be their catching instructor.

Down was the Yankees' hitting coach from 2002-03. He was fired after New York's hitters slumped in losing the 2003 World Series to the Florida Marlins. Last season, Down was coordinator of minor league instruction for the Yankees.

He also has been a hitting coach for the Baltimore Orioles (1995-98), Los Angeles Dodgers (1999-00) and Boston Red Sox (2001).

"Rick has a successful track record as a batting instructor and we are glad to add him to the staff," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said.

Randolph, the former Yankees coach and player, was hired by the Mets to replace Art Howe earlier this month.

Nieto played in the majors from 1984-90 with four teams, including the 1985 NL champion St. Louis Cardinals and the 1987 World Series champion Minnesota Twins.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press