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Rays keep Hickey as pitching coach

Posted Nov 1, 2007 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Nov 1, 2007 at 03:30 PM

Jim Hickey will return as the Rays’ pitching coach in 2008, but his status will be a bit more tenuous than his counterparts on the staff.

While the other Rays coaches agreed last month to two-year deals, Hickey was given only a one-year contract. Those terms amount to a sort of probationary period for the coach, who was arrested on DUI and other charges the night of the Rays’ season finale. The team spent a month reviewing Hickey’s case before deciding to bring him back.

Though they have been blunt in expressing their disapproval of his actions, the Rays have been pleased with the way Hickey has handled the aftermath of his arrest. Earlier this week, Hickey pleaded no contest to the DUI charge and his attorney said Hickey already had attended DUI school, performed more than 50 hours of community service and paid restitution. Hickey will be compelled to continue his community service work as one of the terms of his continued employment with the Rays.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue coaching for the Rays,” Hickey said in a statement released by the team.  “Last month, I let down my family, the organization, and the Tampa Bay community.  I am truly sorry for my actions.” 

Here’s Andrew Friedman’s quote from the press release:

“Ever since the incident, Jim has shown contrition and has taken full responsibility for his actions,” said Friedman.  “We are confident he has learned from his mistakes, and we are ready for him to resume his responsibilities with our club.” 

In other news, Jorge Velandia and Shawn Camp have refused outright assignments to Durham and elected free agency.

Reader Comments

Por (Ron Hubbard) on November 01, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Imagine the Devil Rays saying that Jim Hickey needs to continue his community service even after his mandatory hours are up. What has that team ever done or contributed to the community aside from complaining about everything. I believe if I worked for that half witted organization I would head for the nearest bar after most every game. DUI’s happend most everyday and in my eyes is forgiveable, the crime that the Rays management pulled on its fans however is unforgiveable.

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Por (Steve) on November 02, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Hopefully the organization MADD will be in full force this season protesting the Rays decision to bring this guy back!

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Por (Charles Troeger) on November 02, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Get real Ron!  That statement is as far from the truth as it can get.  The Rays give more back to the fans and community than any other team in the league.  Now if you say they do not give enough money to the free agent market you will be right on spot.

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Por (andrew fish) on November 03, 2007 (Suggest removal)

who cares about that DUI stuff. whats more important is that the rays will get to retain the same coach they had last year and will continue there growth. they wont start all over like they have the last few years. and remember they have the talent throwing that many strikeout, 6th in league history, that has to count for something. they just need to cut down the mental mistakes. i think get 2 or 3 bullpen guys and a solid catcher that knows how to call a game and they will be +500 next doesnt matter who they get unless they get somebody smart to call the pitches

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