Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ex-Phillies manager Fregosi suffers stroke

Jim Fregosi

Jim Fregosi

CLEARWATER — The news, no matter who you asked Thursday at Bright House Field, was not good.

Jim Fregosi, the former Phillies manager who led the team to the NL pennant in 1993, had a severe stroke this week during a Caribbean cruise. And as Philadelphia opened spring training, there was a palpable sadness among the many who know him.

This is when many Phillies employees renew their acquaintance with Fregosi. He lives in Tarpon Springs, is a regular at Rays games at the Trop and much of his spring scouting work in his role with the Braves is done inside the Phillies' Grapefruit League ballpark.

There were reports late Thursday that Fregosi had been taken off life support but was still alive. "It sounds very bad," team chairman Bill Giles said.

"It's unbelievable," Larry Bowa said. "I was shocked. This guy is a baseball lifer."

Bowa, in his first season as new manager Ryne Sandberg's bench coach, was Fregosi's third-base coach from 1991 through 1996, and he marveled at the way he handled the aging veterans who made a worst-to-first run all the way to the 1993 World Series.

"That might have been the most tremendous job ever," Bowa said. "So many of those guys were at the end of their careers, but something special evolved. He was a players' manager, and he let them police the clubhouse. He really trusted 'Dutch' (Darren Daulton) and Dave Hollins to take care of things, and they had so much respect for him, they did the job."

A spokeswoman for MSC Cruises said Fregosi, 71, became ill Tuesday as the MSC Divina was headed from Grand Cayman to Mexico. The ship returned to Grand Cayman, and Fregosi was later taken to a hospital in Miami.

Fregosi played in the majors from 1961 to 1978. His best seasons came with the Angels, where he was six-time All-Star. Along with his managerial stint with the Phillies, he led the 1979 California Angels to their first AL West title.

Lee Thomas, the general manager who hired Fregosi to replace Nick Leyva as Phillies manager after just 13 games in 1991, first met his longtime friend after being traded to the Angels early in the '61 season.

"We've been friends for more than 50 years," Thomas said from his home in St. Louis. "I just can't believe this. Jimmy is the most indestructible man I know."

Ex-Phillies manager Fregosi suffers stroke 02/14/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 14, 2014 12:19am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'


    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.