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[an error occurred while processing this directive]By MARC TOPKIN
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 7, 2001
Dick Bosman has done some interesting things in his life. Threw a no-hitter for the Indians. Spent six rather memorable years as Frank Howard's roommate. Builds and drives hot-rods.
Now Bosman has done it again. Having been fired by Texas three days short of his ninth consecutive season as a big-league pitching coach, Bosman is going back to the minor leagues.
He's not just taking a holding position at Triple-A, waiting for the first shot to get back to the bigs. At 56, Bosman is going back to the beginning, taking a job as pitching coach with the Rays' Hudson Valley, a short-season Class A team stocked with collegians fresh from the upcoming June draft.
"When you get fired, when things don't go right, you kind of wander around a little bit, trying to figure out what you want to do next, what you can do next," Bosman said.
A 14-year resident of Pinellas County (with two daughters still at home), Bosman, naturally, thought of working for the Rays. Howard and another buddy, Darold Knowles, suggested he call minor-league field coordinator Tom Foley and the two clicked quickly.
"I didn't want to scout; I didn't feel it was time to do that," Bosman said. "I enjoy teaching. I believe that's one of my strong points, teaching and communicating. I really didn't know what I wanted to do, but the more I talked to Tom about it, and the more I talked to people about Tom, it sounded right. For the first time in a while, I got excited about coaching and got excited about teaching."
With 11 years as a big-league pitcher and another 11 as a pitching coach (two with the White Sox, three with the Orioles, six with the Rangers), Bosman should have a lot to offer.
He'll work spring training and the April-May extended spring program, then head for a summer unlike anything he's used to. "This is a good time in my career to get back to some grass-roots teaching," Bosman said. "The idea of starting some youngsters out in their baseball careers is quite exciting."
RAYS REPORT: The statistics from Mexico continue to be encouraging as Vinny Castilla is hitting .360 with seven homers and 21 RBI through 75 at-bats for Hermosillo. ... Ex-Ray Miguel Cairo signed with Oakland. ... The team is planning a tag day for prospective season ticketholders from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Tropicana Field. Several players are expected to attend. ... Charlie Montoyo, 227-199 in four seasons as a minor-league manager, got a well-deserved promotion from Charleston to advanced Class A Bakersfield.
ALL RIGHT: The Rockies are looking at a rotation that includes four lefties: Mike Hampton, Denny Neagle, Brian Bohanon and Ron Villone. They'd be the first team since the 1980-81 Yankees with that.
BIG MAC: Reports from California are extremely encouraging about Mark McGwire's recovery and rehabilitation after surgery to correct the right knee injury that forced him out most of the final three months. "Scary positive," Cards manager Tony La Russa said. "He feels so good, he's ahead of things, his enthusiasm is way up. I think somebody's going to pay for that time he missed."
SPRING FLING: The Rangers and Royals are working on a deal to move their spring camps to Arizona in 2002. Financing details for the complex in Surprise, however, are not complete.
DIAMOND CHATTER: Signing Ramon Martinez gives the Dodgers the pitching depth they need to pursue a trade for Kansas City outfielder Johnny Damon. Young right-hander Eric Gagne could be a key. ... Walt Weiss decided to retire to his Colorado home rather than sign with the Cardinals as a reserve. ... The Padres have told teams they no longer are interested in trading Phil Nevin. ... Taking a cue from the NFL, the Pirates are holding a minicamp for pitchers this week.
-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.