Friday, July 10, 2009

Shy bullpen coach struggles with phone duties

From the Wait 'til this Year Humor Vault

DETROIT--Detroit Tigers bullpen coach Jeff Jones is struggling mightily to fulfill his duties, especially when it comes to answering the phone. According to Tigers' relief pitchers, Jones is great when it comes to doling out pitching advice, but his quiet nature and the fact that he is "not a phone person" (Jones's words) often leads to him ignoring the bullpen phone when it rings.

Detroit's starting pitchers are averaging over eight innings per start because of Jones's reluctance to pick up the phone. Usually, when pitching coach Rick Knapp calls down to the 'pen, Jones simply says "Telephone," and then there's an awkward silence broken only by the incessantly ringing phone. Jones once got up from his seat, walked over to the phone and reached out his hand to grab it, but then shook his head and ran quickly back to his seat, then sat there biting his nails while rocking back and forth.

When reached for comment, Manager Jim Leyland said he will see if there's room in the budget for an answering machine.

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