Update: 'Monkey' Wasn't a Racial Slur, Ex-Tigers Coach Says; 'I'm in Shock'
June 28th, 2018, 5:32 PM
Update, 5:25 p.m. Thursday: Tigers pitching coach Chris Bosio says he's in shock over his firing, and denies the accusation that he made a racial slur, according to USA Today.
“I’m crushed,’’ Bosio tells USA Today. “I’m absolutely crushed. I still can’t believe it’s gotten to this point. “I’m in shock.’’
Bosio reveals that he was dismissed for using the word “monkey" in a conversation overheard by -- but not involving -- an African-American clubhouse attendant.
Bosio insists he was not using the word in a racial or disparaging context, and says he was referring to injured player Daniel Stumpf, a white pitcher from Texas. The ex-coach speaks of finding an attorney to coinsider a possible wrongful termination lawsuit.
In Detroit, baseball beat writer Tony Paul of The Detroit News tweets:
Don't know all the Bosio facts. Do know this: If Bosio's story *is* true, he'd have three or four assistant coaches backing him up and he would still have his job. But, nope.— Tony Paul (@TonyPaul1984) June 28, 2018
Original article Wedsnesday:
What he said is unclear. But it got him fired.
The Tigers abruptly fire popular pitching coach Chris Bosio for "insensitive comments," reports Lynn Henninng of The Detroit News:
There was no explanation for what Bosio said, or to whom any remarks might have been directed. But the move to fire Bosio was both a shock to a team that had come to rely inordinately on his expertise and his psychological skill with Tigers pitchers. . . .
Bosio knew his craft and knew how to teach. He had pitched 11 seasons in the big leagues.
Sports anchor Brad Galli of WXYZ says the coach used racially charged language toward a team employee, according to general manager Al Avila.
"It must have been pretty bad to warrant an immediate termination," Brett Taylor posts at Bleacher Nation. "You don't really see too many coaches being canned on the spot for something they've said."
Bosio, 55, joined new manager Ron Gardner before this season. He earlier spent six years as the Chicago Cubs' pitching coach.
Avila would not specify the language or identify the target. It was brought to his attention Tuesday and investigated by baseball legal counsel John Westhoff, among others, Jason Beck reports at MLB.com. The coach learns of his dismissal from Avila when he came to Comerica Park on Wednesday afternoon, the general manager says.
"First and foremost, I have to take seriously what the comments were, and the action we took was appropriate," Avila said. "We felt that obviously it was the right move, and that's the most important thing for us.
"Secondary is what's going to happen to the pitching, and we feel more than confident with the experience of Rick Anderson and Jeff Pico to lead the way the rest of the season."