Boston Red Sox: Gary Tuck

Levangie hired as bullpen coach

February, 5, 2013
2/05/13
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The Red Sox announced the hiring of Dana Levangie as the team’s bullpen coach to replace Gary Tuck, who retired last week after six seasons in the job.

Levangie, 43, a Massachusetts native, has been an advance scout for the Sox for the past seven seasons, and will continue to assist in that area. He's been with the Sox for 22 years as a player, bullpen catcher and pro scout.

“We are extremely pleased to add Dana to the major league staff,” manager John Farrell said in a statement. “He has been a valuable asset to the Red Sox in a variety of roles and his vast knowledge of the Major Leagues, particularly the American League, will enable him to make an impact on our staff and with our bullpen.”

The Red Sox had announced in November that Tuck, who has been widely praised for his work with catchers in addition to his bullpen role, was coming back for a seventh season in Boston. It was unclear why he chose not to return.

Tuck would have been the lone holdover from Bobby Valentine's staff.

"[Sox manager John Farrell] felt like having at least one person from the 2012 staff return was important," Cherington said when Tuck's return was announced in November. "They have a relationship, as you know, aside from his skill as a catching instructor and a smart baseball guy, he's got a lot of insight into our players from this year, and nobody else on our staff was going to have that the way that he did. We thought that was important."

Tuck took a leave during the 2012 season for personal reasons and was replaced by minor league catching instructor Chad Epperson.

Pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Sunday.

Sox retain Gary Tuck as bullpen coach

November, 8, 2012
11/08/12
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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington announced Thursday that Gary Tuck will remain as the club's bullpen coach.

Tuck, 58, will return for his seventh season as Sox bullpen coach and is the only remaining staff member from 2012.

"[Sox manager John Farrell] felt like having at least one person from the 2012 staff return was important," Cherington said. "They have a relationship, as you know, aside from his skill as a catching instructor and a smart baseball guy, he's got a lot of insight into our players from this year, and nobody else on our staff was going to have that the way that he did. We thought that was important."

Farrell's staff is almost complete. With Torey Lovullo (bench coach), Brian Butterfield (third-base coach) and Juan Nieves (pitching coach) all in place, the Red Sox still need to fill the hitting coach and first-base coach positions.

The Red Sox are leaning toward hiring two hitting coaches, and those interviews will begin this weekend.

"We're going to start interviews this weekend and over the course of early next week. There'll be a handful of candidates," Cherington explained. "We haven't quite set the times up and things like that, so I can't tell you names yet, but we'll be able to do so soon."

Coaches await word; Tuck controls destiny

October, 3, 2012
10/03/12
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NEW YORK -- Boston Red Sox coaches are awaiting word on their fate, along with manager Bobby Valentine. General manager Ben Cherington would not address their status Wednesday afternoon, though he noted the importance of achieving some stability at pitching coach.

[+] EnlargeGary Tuck
Robert Rogers/ Getty ImagesThe Red Sox value bullpen coach Gary Tuck, who he says he'll return "if the situation is good."
One Sox coach who controls his own destiny is bullpen coach Gary Tuck, who last year was denied permission by the Sox to speak with other clubs. In return, Tuck was given an option year on his contract in which he can decide whether he'll be back.

Tuck is widely considered the best catching instructor in the game, a reputation he first cultivated while working with the Yankees, and develops an intense loyalty with his catchers. He said that catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia calls him at least once a day "365 days a year," a practice that began with Jason Varitek when Tuck first came to the Red Sox prior to the 2007 season.

"That's what you do when you join the 'Catching Academy,'" Tuck said. "Tek still calls every other day. He never left."

Asked if he wants to return, Tuck said: "If the situation is good for me, yes."

It is expected Tuck will wait to see who will manage the Red Sox next season. He also has been dealing all season with an illness in his family. But there would appear to be little doubt that the Red Sox would like him back.

The Sox, meanwhile, are now in a position where they have had four pitching coaches in the last three seasons, including two this season: Bob McClure, who was fired in August, and Randy Niemann, who initially was brought in by Valentine as a staff assistant. Curt Young was pitching coach just one season, 2011. John Farrell was pitching coach for four seasons before becoming manager of the Blue Jays.

"Too much turnover at that position," Cherington said. "That's on us. Coaches don't hold a gun to your head to be hired, and don't ask to be let go. When there's this much turnover we've got to look at ourselves a little bit. It's important to add a little more stability in that area."

The base coaches, Jerry Royster and Alex Ochoa, were both added by Valentine, so their fate is likely tied to the manager. Tim Bogar, who has been on the Sox staff since 2009 and was Valentine's bench coach this season, an uncomfortable arrangement for both men, and hitting coach Dave Magadan, on the Sox staff for six seasons, are both highly regarded by the Sox front office but could be victims of a housecleaning, if it comes to that. Again, the identity of the manager may be a deciding factor.

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