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Tigers pitching coach says he was fired for using term ‘spider monkey’

Matt Rosenberg
TigersBosioBaseball57653jpg9e5da
Detroit Tigers pitching coach Chris Bosio walks to the dugout during the seventh inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals in Detroit.

Former Tigers pitching coach Chris Bosio says it was all a misunderstanding.

Fired Wednesday by the team, Bosio says he was let go because, the team told him, he violated its zero-tolerance policy in making “insensitive remarks to a team employee.”

But Bosio told USA Today Sports that wasn’t the case.

He says he had been talking about injured pitcher Daniel Stumpf in the coaches’ room and he referred to Stumpf as “Spider Monkey” — which he says is Stumpf’s nickname.

A black clubhouse attendant overheard the conversation and, Bosio says, he “thought we were talking about him. He got all upset. He assumed we were talking about him.”

For what it’s worth, Stumpf told the Detroit Free Press that he wasn’t aware his nickname was “Spider Monkey.”

“Spider Monkey is not a nickname I have been called or I’m familiar with,” he said.

In a meeting with team management Tuesday, Bosio says, he was asked about the incident and didn’t deny using the term, but again, said how it was directed at Stumpf.

The next day, he was fired.

The Tigers, as of Thursday night, had not yet said whether they will pay the rest of his contract. He was in the first year of a two-year deal.

“We crack fat jokes on our trainer everyday,” Bosio told USA Today. “All kinds of things are said in a baseball clubhouse. And for this to happen to me? I don’t know what else to say, but I know I don’t deserve this.”

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