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Bobby Ramos healthy, sorry to be let go as Tampa Bay Rays bullpen coach

Longtime Yankees centerfielder Bernie Williams is the strongest new Hall candidate.

Associated Press

Longtime Yankees centerfielder Bernie Williams is the strongest new Hall candidate.

ST. PETERSBURG — Several of the Rays' returning coaches were pleasantly surprised they got new two-year deals even though manager Joe Maddon has only one year left on his current contract.

Bobby Ramos was disappointed to be the one not rehired, but he said he felt good to be healthy again after missing part of last season due to illness, including a throat infection and bronchitis.

"I'm feeling great," said Ramos, known as Sugar Bear. "The Bear is back."

Ramos, 56, spent six seasons as the Rays' bullpen coach, coming with Maddon from the Angels, plus three previously as a minor-league manager. Ramos is waiting to hear if he will be offered another position in the organization; if not, he plans to seek a coaching job elsewhere.

"Of course you're disappointed after all these years," he said. "You put a lot of time in, you like to think you helped. Unfortunately I got sick. If I had my way I wouldn't have gotten sick and I would have stayed there."

The Rays confirmed Wednesday that Stan Boroski, who filled in for Ramos, will take over as bullpen coach. Also that Dave Martinez (bench coach), Jim Hickey (pitching), Derek Shelton (hitting), Tom Foley (third base/infield) and George Hendrick (first base/outfield) would return, along with senior adviser Don Zimmer, for his 64th season in pro ball.

There has been no progress yet on a Maddon extension.

Also:

• Pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and outfielder Desmond Jennings were named to the 10-man Topps rookie all-star team.

• Three front-office officials were promoted: Chaim Bloom and Erik Neander to directors of baseball operations; James Click to director of baseball research and development.

• The Rays are among 13 teams eligible for the new Competitive Balance Lottery for an extra pick in the 2013 draft.

A new attitude

BOSTON — Players eating fried chicken and drinking beer in the clubhouse during games. If it didn't bother Bobby Valentine as a baseball lifer, it would certainly offend his sensibilities as a self-proclaimed gourmet chef.

"He won't let that happen. There's no way he's going to let that happen," said Tommy Lasorda, Valentine's manager in the minors in the Dodgers' organization and a mentor who encouraged him to try for the Red Sox job.

"There's times, in all phases of life, when you've got to kick them in the (rear) when they need it, and there's times when you need to hug them if they need it. Your livelihood depends on those guys."

Valentine will be introduced as Boston's manager today. The former Mets and Rangers manager replaces Terry Francona, who let his players police themselves and never said anything negative about them in public.

In New York, Valentine at times criticized his players and bickered with them, his boss and the media.

"You give loyalty, you'll get it back. You give love, you'll get it back," Lasorda said. "And that's the way it has to be."

HALL BALLOT: Former AL batting champions Bernie Williams and Bill Mueller and former Jesuit High standout Brad Radke are among 13 newcomers on the Hall of Fame ballot. A relatively weak field of first-timers could give hope to Barry Larkin, the former Reds shortstop who last year received 62.1 percent of the vote.

DODGERS SAGA: A federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware said Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and MLB commissioner Bud Selig do not have to testify at a hearing next week on the team's plan to sell media rights to future games. Fox Sports currently has the team's media rights contract. In other Dodgers news, infielder Adam Kennedy agreed to a one-year, $800,000 contract.

ROCKIES-ANGELS TRADE: Los Angeles acquired catcher Chris Iannetta from Colorado for right-hander Tyler Chatwood.

CUBS: Outfielder David DeJesus agreed to a $10 million, two-year deal with a 2014 club option.

RANGERS: First baseman Mitch Moreland had arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist and will need 8-12 weeks to recover.

TIGERS: Shortstop Ramon Santiago remained with the team, agreeing to a two-year contract worth about $4 million.

Information from Times wires was used in this report. Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@tampabay.com.

2012 Hall of Fame ballot

Jeff Bagwell 1B
Jeromy Burnitz OF*
Vinny Castilla 3B*
Juan Gonzalez OF
Brian Jordan OF*
Barry Larkin SS
Javy Lopez C*
Edgar Martinez 3B/DH
Don Mattingly 1B
Fred McGriff 1B
Mark McGwire 1B
Jack Morris RHP
Bill Mueller 3B*
Terry Mulholland LHP*
Dale Murphy OF
Phil Nevin 3B/1B*
Rafael Palmeiro 1B
Brad Radke RHP*
Tim Raines OF
Tim Salmon OF*
Ruben Sierra OF*
Lee Smith RHP
Alan Trammell SS
Larry Walker OF
Bernie Williams OF*
Tony Womack 2B/SS*
Eric Young 2B*

* First year on ballot

Bobby Ramos healthy, sorry to be let go as Tampa Bay Rays bullpen coach 11/30/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 10:59pm]

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