A day after he was fired as pitching coach of the Detroit Tigers for using what the team called insensitive comments toward a club employee, Chris Bosio says what happened was a misunderstanding and that he will explore potential legal action against the organization.
"I'm crushed,'' Bosio told USA Today. "I'm absolutely crushed. I still can't believe it's gotten to this point.
"I'm in shock.''
The Tigers on Wednesday fired Bosio for his comments, saying they violated the organization's "zero tolerance for this type of behavior."
General manager Al Avila later explained that Bosio made the comments recently and they were brought to his attention Tuesday. Avila then decided to terminate Bosio's contract after the team investigated the situation and spoke to all of the people involved.
In the interview with USA Today, Bosio explained his side of the story. While in his cubicle inside the Tigers coaches office, the former major league pitcher says he used the word "monkey" to describe Detroit pitcher Daniel Stumpf, who is white. However, Bosio said a clubhouse attendant who is African-American overheard what he said and thought Bosio was talking about him.
"Someone in our coaches' room asked me [Monday afternoon] about Stumpf,'' Bosio told USA Today. "And I said, "Oh, you mean 'Spider Monkey.' That's his nickname. He's a skinny little white kid who makes all of these funny faces when he works out.
"The kid [clubhouse attendant] thought we were talking about him. He got all upset. He assumed we were talking about him. I said, 'No, no, no. We're talking about Stumpf.'
"And that was it. I swear on my mom and dad's graves, there was nothing else to it.''
When asked what happened by several members of the Tigers front office and coaching staff, Bosio admitted he used the word "monkey" but reiterated it was in reference to Stumpf and "the face he makes when he lifts weights. That's it.''
"Al said, we got all of our information, and we're firing you because of your insensitive comments,'' Bosio told USA Today. "I said, 'Comments? There was one comment. And it wasn't even directed at the kid.'"
Bosio told USA Today that he plans to hire an attorney and explore potential legal action. He was in his first season with the Tigers after serving in the same role for six years with the Cubs.