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Evers: Being let go "hurts deeply"



Bench coach Bill Evers was hurt and disappointed by the Rays' decision to let him go.

"It hurts deeply,'' Evers said. "I gave them those years, saw all those kids grow up, saw the whole organization grow up. They're definitely headed in the right direction. I just wish I could be part of it.''

Evers, 53, spent 10 seasons as a successful and popular minor-league manager in the Rays system before joining Joe Maddon's staff last season as what amounts to assistant manager. But Evers said he was told he wasn't "filling the needs" for Maddon and that there wasn't "any bond" between them, so his contract was not renewed.

Maddon said Evers was not to blame: "Primarily the biggest thing I told him was that I didn't feel that he and I connected well enough. And that's my fault. I'm not blaming him at all. Having said that more than anything I'm just lookin for somebody who I probably just feel more comfortable bouncing stuff off of I guess. I guess that's the best way to describe it without getting technical."

Evers said he would explore options with other teams; the Rays are offering him a scouting job, but he prefers to stay on the field.

The Rays announced Tuesday they planned to bring back coaches Tom Foley (3B), Steve Henderson (hitting), George Hendrick (1B) and Bobby Ramos (bullpen), through it's possible some of their responsibilities could be shuffled, perhaps depending on how they fill Evers' spot.

There was no decision yet on the status of pitching coach Jim Hickey, who was arrested on DUI and other charges late Sunday after returning from the season finale in Toronto, and told the Times on Monday he knew he put his job in jeopardy.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:32am]


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