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Bullpen coach Gary Tuck leaves Red Sox

01.29.13 at 7:08 pm ET
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Gary Tuck

Multiple major sources have confirmed that Red Sox bullpen coach Gary Tuck has chosen not to return for the 2013 season. It is unclear why Tuck has chosen not to return after initially agreeing to join manager John Farrell‘s coaching staff earlier in the offseason.

Earlier this offseason, the Red Sox had retained the services of Tuck, who was in the option year of his contract. The 58-year-old had been with the Red Sox since 2006, serving as both the team’s bullpen coach and catching instructor, having been courted by John Farrell to become the Blue Jays bench coach prior to the ’11 season.

Tuck, who had left the Red Sox for a stretch during the 2012 regular season due to personal reasons and also required time to recover from double hernia surgery in spring training last year, would have been the lone member of the Red Sox’ 2012 major league coaching staff to return for ’13. At this time, there is no known replacement for the highly regarded instructor, though it is worth noting that Chad Epperson, the team’s minor league catching coordinator, filled in for Tuck as the bullpen coach during his leave in 2012.

Tuck was hugely protective of both his catchers and members of the Red Sox bullpen, forming a pirate-themed club among Sox relievers that carried over from season to season. Besides working with the backstops, he also was credited with the development of numerous Sox pitchers, with one example being former Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima. Early in the 2007 season, Tuck taught Okajima the changeup (or “Okee-doke”) that helped turn the lefty into an All-Star.

Tuck is believed to be the only coach in major league history to have won World Series rings with both the Red Sox and Yankees. He has developed a reputation as one of the game’s premier catching instructors, having played professionally at the position during a three-year minor league career with the Montreal Expos.

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