Charging that the Boston Red Sox dumped him when he needed them most, Tony Torchia has filed a lawsuit against the American League club alleging that it illegally fired him when he asked for psychiatric help.
Torchia, 45, recovered from his depression, found a new home with the San Diego Padres and is carrying out "the noble fight" he could not wage in 1985 because of his delicate mental condition, the Boston Herald reported today.
A long-time minor league manager and 1985 Red Sox bullpen coach, Torchia has sued team owner Haywood Sullivan and the team for terminating his contract.
No Comment From Team
The Red Sox attorney, John Donovan, said the team will not comment because of the sensitive nature of the case. Sullivan and the team have denied most of Torchia's allegations.
Torchia told the Herald that he suffered a "mid-life crisis" in 1985 after moving to Boston from Pawtucket and asked for three days off.
"I was feeling bad about some things," he said. "My mother's heart had stopped during some surgery, and I was facing some tough things in my life. . . . I had no one to talk to. I decided to confide in Sullivan. I went to him one morning in August, and as a result, I was demoted the next season."
The lawsuit alleges that Sullivan arranged for psychiatric treatment but spread that information throughout the club, an invasion of privacy. At the end of the season, Torchia was reassigned to the minors in New Britain.
'Remuneration for Them'
"My family paid an awful lot for me to get into the big leagues," Torchia said. "If this lawsuit is anything, it's remuneration for them. I went through an awful lot. No amount of money can set things straight."
Attorneys for the Red Sox appeared in Suffolk Superior Court this week to ask Judge John Cratsley to dismiss the lawsuit, which does not specify monetary damages.
Cratsley has taken the matter under advisement and Thursday ordered Torchia's medical records impounded, the newspaper reported.