The Rays announced today which coaches will return: Bobby Ramos (bullpen), Steve Henderson (hitting), George Hendrick (1B Coach), Tom Foley (3B Coach). There are two notable coaches no on that list: Jim Hickey and Bill Evers. The Rays said that they are unsure about Hickey, but released Evers. Evers had been with the organization since 1995 and had won two IL titles for the Rays in the minor leagues.
Evers was a candidate for the Rays manager job, but the Rays front office decided to go with Joe Maddon. Maddon then hired Evers to be his bench coach when he took over the Rays. Maddon is taking the blame for Evers being let go, saying that he wanted someone he meshed better with and feels more comfortable bouncing things around with on the bench.
This was a terrible decision for Rays front office. Evers has given this franchise loyalty and great coaching since he has been here. He is a great baseball mind and will be missed by this franchise. I am sure we will never know the true reason that he was let go, but it may have something to do with Maddon feeling secure in his job. Many people wanted Evers to be the manager of this club and many of the players on it now were coached by Evers in the past. They may not have gotten along, but you don't always have to get along with someone for the relationship to have a positive influence on the team.
For now it will be interesting to see who gets the job as bench coach for the Rays and who is the pitching coach, especially if Jim Hickey is let go due to his recent trouble with the law.