The Detroit Tigers have dismissed pitching coach Chris Bosio for making insensitive comments toward a team employee.
Tigers general manager Al Avila said the team learned of the allegation and began investigating on Tuesday. Avila and manager Ron Gardenhire met with Bosio after Tuesday night’s game.
Bosio was informed of his dismissal when he reported to work before Wednesday’s game.
Avila would not elaborate on the nature of Bosio’s comments or to whom they were directed. He said the comments violated both Tigers company policy and the terms of Bosio’s employment contract.
“For me and our organization we felt that this was a much-needed move,” Avila said. “We have zero tolerance as far as this is concerned, on the field or off the field. That’s our policy in our organization and what we believe and we felt that we made the right decision.”
Bosio was hired as Tigers pitching coach this winter after spending the last six seasons with the Chicago Cubs.
Tigers bullpen coach Rick Anderson will be promoted to pitching coach for the remainder of the season. Roving minor-league instructor A.J. Sager will serve as bullpen coach on an interim basis.
Triple-A Toledo pitching coach Jeff Pico will join the Tigers next week to take over as full-time bullpen coach.
“First and foremost, I have to take seriously what the comments were. The action we took was appropriate and we felt was the right move,” Avila said. “That’s the most important thing for us. Secondary is what’s going to happen to the pitching staff. And we feel more than confident in the experience of Rick Anderson and Jeff Pico to lead the way for the rest of the season.”
Avila said the investigation into the comments was swift.
“It was brought to my attention yesterday. We investigated. John Westhoff, our club counsel, did a lot of the legwork,” Avila said. “I talked to the parties involved. I decided that we needed to act quickly based on the information.”
Bosio was informed when he arrived to Comerica Park on Wednesday.
“I can’t tell you what his response was, but there was really not a whole lot of dialogue,” Avila said. “Nobody likes to fire anybody, but sometimes you have no choice. We acted upon what we felt was right and we stand by it.”
Tigers players and coaches were informed before the news was made public.
“This is not easy for any of us, the players or coaches, but this organization is all about respect and that’s what’s happened,” Gardenhire said. “This organization had to act and it did.”
Gardenhire said all players and staff members undergo harassment training in spring training and should be familiar about what is inappropriate in the workplace.
“We have that class in spring training. It’s not one that you can say, ‘I don’t want to go to.’ It’s something that we went through this spring: What you should say, how you handle a situation,” he said. “It’s the way of the world today. We all know this. This organization acted quickly and with zero tolerance. It’s just the way it is.”
Gardenhire said he had faith in Anderson, who served on his staff as pitching coach for the Minnesota Twins from 2002-2014.
“Andy’s been doing it a long time,” Gardenhire said. “I asked him to step up here (to pitching coach) if he wanted it. He had the choice and (decided) he’ll do this for the rest of the year. He’s gotten to know all these pitchers. He has good relationships with them. They trust him and he’s a big part of this organization.”
Bosio’s dismissal comes while the Tigers are in the midst of a season-long seven-game losing streak. Third baseman Nicholas Castellanos said the firing will be a distraction “only if we let it be.”