Meet the old boss? Same as the old... ah, Jason Beck already beat me to that joke. Snooze, and you lose.
Apparently, the Detroit Tigers decided Jeff Jones wasn't so bad as their bullpen coach, after all. Or Jim Leyland had a little bit of firer's (is that even a word?) remorse. Today, the Tigers surprisingly brought Jones back, one month after feeling that he wasn't good enough to do the job for which he's been re-hired. Go figure.
Who was it that said coaches were hired to be fired? How true that is. But they can also be fired to be hired.
According to Beck, Jones may have been initially fired because Leyland felt his new pitching coach, Rick Knapp, should make the call on the bullpen coach. As it turns out, Knapp seems to like Jones just fine and thinks they work together. So here we are again.
(Incidentally, Mike McClary sent me a text message about Jones coming back as pitching coach. In my Nyquil-induced stupor, I thought "Hey, as long as it's not Jacque Jones," and fell back asleep.)
Originally, it sounded as if Leyland was leaning toward hiring a non-pitching coach for the position, which was confirmed by minor league field coordinator Mike Rojas and advance scout Bruce Tanner being mentioned as the favorites to replace Jones. (Tanner, meanwhile, was promoted to Major League scout today. Rojas apparently gets an "Atta boy!" and will try again next time.) Obviously, that stance changed, likely with Knapp's input. Perhaps Knapp wanted someone familiar with the current staff to consult with.
By the way, this will be the sixth time Jones has been named the Tigers' bullpen coach, which gives him a sort of Billy Martin-type status. He held the position in 1995, for the final month of 1998, all of 1999, then was brought back for parts of the 2000 and 2002 seasons. He has to be really good at packing up boxes. Or maybe he just has a closet space somewhere in Comerica Park to keep his stuff until the next time he's hired again.