Sox add Thigpen, Boston to Venturas staff
John Starks | Staff Photographer ¬ @Caption:Whi
White Sox first-base coach Daryl Boston.
Photo courtesy of Chicago White Sox
Bobby Thigpen is the new bullpen coach for the White Sox.
Photo courtesy of Chicago White Sox
It's hard saying no to White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.
In 2007, former Sox closer Bobby Thigpen finally said yes to a job offer from Reinsdorf, and he spent the next two seasons as manager with Advanced Rookie Bristol.
While he joked about his brief run in the dugout, Thigpen knew he made the right decision when he became pitching coach for Class A Winston-Salem for two seasons before moving up to the same job with AA Birmingham last year.
On Tuesday, Thigpen, 49, was named White Sox bullpen coach. He replaces Juan Nieves, who is the Boston Red Sox' new pitching coach.
"Obviously, I was hoping to get this job," said Thigpen, who was 31-26 with a 3.43 ERA and 201 saves over 448 career relief appearances with the White Sox (1986-93), Philadelphia (1993) and Seattle (1994).
Thigpen's 57 saves with the Sox in 1990 are the second-highest total in major-league history. He is also the White Sox' all-time leader with 201 saves and ranks second behind Matt Thornton with 424 career relief appearances.
"I've known Thiggy my entire career," manager Robin Ventura said of his former Sox teammate. "Once Juan was hired, you go through trying to figure out who was the best fit. With the work he has been doing with players we have right now, and Thiggy being a bullpen guy, he was a natural fit."
Two other ex-teammates also have new positions on Ventura's coaching staff.
Harold Baines moves from first-base coach to assistant hitting coach while Daryl Boston takes over for Baines.
Boston, also 49, spent the last 12 seasons as the White Sox' minor-league outfield coordinator. He also served as hitting coach at Bristol in 1998, A Burlington in '99 and Winston-Salem in 2000.
In addition to his first-base duties, Boston will work with Sox outfielders and assist third-base coach Joe Ewing with baserunning.
Boston said he'll also keep pushing promising outfield prospects like Trayce Thompson, Jared Mitchell and Keenyn Walker.
"I've heard from a lot of them this off-season and I will always make time to work with them," Boston said. "The message will be, 'Let's go, I'm here. Now it's your time to get here, too.'"
Baines, 54, has been on the White Sox' coaching staff for nine seasons. He was Ozzie Guillen's bench coach in 2004-05 before moving to first base. Now, Baines will assist hitting coach Jeff Manto.
Baines started working with Manto late last season.
"It kind of evolved a little last year and what Harold was looking to do this year," Ventura said. "I feel lucky to have him. With the way the game is going, a lot of different teams are (using two hitting coaches). Jeff is excited about it, too. In that situation, you have to have guys believe in the same things to work together."
Fremd High School graduate Mike Gellinger assisted Manto last season and will continue in that role in 2013. Ventura said Gellinger isn't likely to spend as much time on the road due to health and family considerations.
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