The Detroit Tigers made news last week when they fired their pitching coach Chris Bosio not because of the performance of the pitching staff but because he allegedly made an insensitive remark about a clubhouse employee.
Bosio does not deny making the remark but insists he was joking with one of his pitchers and not directing the remark toward a young man working in the clubhouse who overheard what he said.
In any event, less than 24 hours after the clubhouse employee complained to management, Bosio became the former pitching coach of the Tigers.
Tigers General Manager Al Avila said he investigated the matter and decided Bosio had to be let go because the Tigers are not the type of organization to allow that kind of thing to happen. Allegedly, four players overheard Bosio’s remarks and said his words were in fact directed at the clubhouse employee.
Bosio claims no investigation took place and he is the victim of a politically correct knee jerk reaction.
I’ll confess I don’t personally know any of the principals involved. I know that Bosio was the pitching coach for the Cubs for six years and did a pretty good job, all things considered.
Prior to that, I knew Chris Bosio as the fat guy who pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers and Seattle Mariners; the one who threw a no-hitter for the Mariners in 1993 but finished with career record of 94-93.
As his record indicates, he was a so-so starter for some very mediocre teams but had a major league career which spanned 10 years.
I do not recall him ever being the center of controversy at any point.
I know even less about Alvia. All I know is hearing his name when a trade is mentioned or discussing a possible free agent signing.
Bosio has threatened legal action against the Tigers, claiming wrongful termination. A part of me wants him to follow through on his threat and prove that he did nothing wrong but I strongly suspect he will not because he’s guilty as sin.
Four players corroborated the claims of the employee and to my knowledge no player, coach, or any other person in the clubhouse came to his defense.
Yes, I know.
I can already hear people screaming about political correctness being out of control and I think there is something to that — at least to a point.
If you work in a locker room — be it a Major League clubhouse or a local high school — you will hear words and comments that are “inappropriate.”
Maybe I’m splitting hairs but there is a difference between inappropriate and unacceptable. Inappropriate is just that — the wrong thing to say, perhaps even something said in poor taste but not enough to cross the line of acceptable.
The remarks that a player or coach makes about a bad call late in a game is very often inappropriate.
The remarks made by fans about officials, and even players are often inappropriate.
Remarks made in the press box or on the sidelines pertaining to a play or a game are often inappropriate.
Calling someone a name — or making a comment which belittles their race or religion — is not inappropriate.
It is unacceptable. Period. End of discussion.
This is 2018, not 1918. Anyone with two functioning brain cells should know better. The days of referring to someone by a racial or ethnic slur is over.
It doesn’t matter if one likes it or not, that’s just the way it is. This is the world in which we live.
Words matter and in the age of social media, they matter more than ever. The age of casual conversation is over.
Words — no matter how innocently something might have been intended — have consequences.
Ask Chris Bosio about consequences. He just went from the clubhouse to the outhouse, at least employment-wise.
Maybe he’ll land with another team in some capacity, such a roving instructor or as a minor league coach. He might even find himself back in the Majors some day.
For his sake, I hope he does.
Kindness and common courtesy are in short supply in our society these days. Does firing Chris Bosio solve this problem?
Not at all.
However, it would be nice if he could get another job at the big league level and use this experience to educate the next generation of players and teach them that what happens in the clubhouse doesn’t always stay in the clubhouse.
More importantly, he could teach them showing a little respect never hurt anyone.