Ranger Coaches Swap Jobs to Boost Team

From Associated Press

First-year Texas Ranger pitching coach Larry Hardy and bullpen coach Bobby Cuellar have agreed to switch positions in an attempt to boost the struggling ballclub.

“Larry Hardy approached me earlier this week and suggested that we make this adjustment in coaching roles,” Ranger Manager Jerry Narron said Thursday. “This caught me a little by surprise because it is not something I had been considering. However, after talking with both Larry and Bobby, we all agreed to make the change.”

Hardy became pitching coach only eight months ago after serving as the bullpen coach from 1995-2000. He was replaced in the bullpen by Cuellar.


The coaching change was to take effect today when the Rangers begin a three-game series against the Houston Astros.

Boston catcher Jason Varitek broke his right elbow making a diving catch Thursday night in an 8-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

The Red Sox said more tests would be done today, and it’s not known how long he will be sidelined.

Varitek homered for Boston’s first run of the game in the second and has started 47 of its 58 games at catcher. He’s batting .293 with seven homers and 25 RBIs and has played outstanding defense.

“He’s fearless,” Boston Manager Jimy Williams said of Varitek before the extent of the injury was announced. “He couldn’t throw properly. We had to take him out.”

Dean Palmer of the Tigers was suspended for three games and fined an undisclosed amount for excessive arguing, throwing equipment and making contact with umpire Greg Bonin in a game against the White Sox last Sunday.


Palmer, a third baseman, appealed the decision and was Detroit’s starting designated hitter Thursday against Boston.

“I’m going to appeal it, but I’ll probably end up serving it and taking my lumps,” Palmer said.

The Red Sox put infielder John Valentin on the 15-day disabled list because of a sore right heel. The club activated infielder Chris Stynes from the disabled list. He broke his left cheekbone May 9 when he was hit by a pitch from Seattle’s Aaron Sele. . . . The Montreal Expos put third baseman Fernando Tatis on the 15-day disabled list for the second time this season. Tatis, who is hitting .255 with two homers and 11 runs batted in in 41 games, had an MRI on his left knee Wednesday, which revealed that he had patellar tendinitis. He was activated from the disabled list on May 25 after sitting out 13 games because of a right shoulder strain. . . . Steve Trachsel was recalled from triple-A Norfolk by the New York Mets, who optioned reliever Jerrod Riggan to the minors.

The Mariners have signed 19-year-old Russian pitcher Oleg Korneev, an amateur free agent.

The 6-foot-7, 220-pound right-hander from Moscow pitched with the Russian national team, which was playing against Northern League teams in May.

Korneev is expected to report to the Mariners’ Arizona League team in Peoria, Ariz.

Tiger owner Mike Ilitch is taking the title of team president, and Detroit Red Wing executive Jim Devellano is becoming senior vice president of the baseball team.

Ilitch will oversee the day-to-day operations of the business and baseball areas of the organization. The president’s job became vacant when John McHale left to become chief operating officer of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.


“I’m going to be very involved with all aspects of the club,” Ilitch said in a statement. “I’m not satisfied with where we are. As owner, I take full responsibility for that.”