Report: Chris Bosio says comment was not directed at Tigers employee

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Chris Bosio

Detroit – There are at least two sides to every story and through Bob Nightengale of USA Today, former Detroit Tigers pitching coach Chris Bosio gave his side Thursday.

Bosio was fired on Wednesday for what Tigers general manager Al Avila called an “insensitive comment” directed at a club employee, a comment deemed heinous enough to violate the club’s zero-tolerance conduct policy.

The offending word, Bosio said, was monkey. And he claimed he did not direct it at the employee, who is African-American, according to the report, but to pitcher Daniel Stumpf, who is on a rehab assignment at Toledo.

Here is what Bosio told USA Today:

“Someone in our coaches’ room asked me about Stumpf. And I said, ‘Oh, you mean, 'Spider Monkey.' That’s his nickname. He’s a skinny little white kid who makes all of these funny faces when he works out.

“The kid thought we were talking about him. He got all upset. He assumed we were talking about him. I said, ‘No, no, no. We’re talking about Stumpf.’”

More: Tigers staff moving on post-Chris Bosio, back to a five-man rotation

More: Tigers' offense dormant, Fulmer frustrated as skid hits 9

Bosio told USA Today that he will hire an attorney and look into suing the Tigers for wrongful termination.

“I’m crushed,’’ Bosio told USA Today. “I’m absolutely crushed. I still can’t believe it’s gotten to this point.”

An investigation was conducted by Tigers assistant general manager and general counsel John Westhoff. The Tigers have not divulged the specific word or words Bosio used, nor to whom they were aimed.

“These decisions are always difficult,” Avila said on Wednesday. “But when it comes upon you, you have to take responsibility and take action. Nobody likes to fire anybody, but sometimes you have no choice.”

On Thursday, reached by USA Today, Avila again declined to discuss specifics about the Bosio case.

“We know what we did, and why we did it, and we’ll see where it goes from there,’’ Avila told USA Today. “The action we took was appropriate. There were things involved. But I can’t comment any further.’’

Twitter @cmccosky