ST. PETERSBURG -- The Devil Rays shored up their instructional staff Tuesday by hiring former Major League manager Jimy Williams as a special instructor and John Tamargo as the manager of the Triple-A Durham Bulls.
In hiring Williams, the Rays are hoping he can help establish consistency in the instruction given to players throughout the organization. Williams will assist in the instruction of players in all areas at the Minor League level and will be available to aid the Rays' Major League staff. He will also be on the big-league staff during Spring Training.
"This is another important step toward ensuring the proper development of our young players throughout the organization," said Andrew Friedman, the Rays' executive vice president of baseball operations. "There is no way to measure the benefits of having a baseball man of Jimy's caliber passing on to our prospects his work ethic and knowledge of the game. His experience will be a great asset to both our coaches and our players and we're delighted to have him join us."
Added Gerry Hunsicker, senior vice president of baseball operations: "Jimy brings invaluable experience to our organization. He is a tremendous teacher and will also be a valuable mentor for our staff throughout the organization."
Williams' professional baseball experience covers 38 years, including 28 as a coach or manager. In 12 seasons of managing in the Major Leagues at Toronto (1986-1989), Boston (1997-2001) and Houston (2002-2004), only twice did his teams finish below .500. His last seven teams finished .500 or better.
Williams compiled a 910-790 (.535) Major League managerial record and was named the 1999 American League Manager of the Year after piloting the Red Sox to a second consecutive playoff berth. It was the first time Boston advanced to the postseason in back-to-back seasons since 1915-1916.
Tamargo, who has spent the last 32 years in professional baseball, replaces Bill Evers, who was named Joe Maddon's bench coach earlier this month.
Since 1982, Tamargo has coached or managed at the Minor and Major League levels with the Mets, Astros and Brewers. He has a 15-year managerial career in the Minors, including 11 in the Mets' system (1983, 1987-96), and has a lifetime managerial mark of 912-859 (.515). In 2005, Tamargo managed at Brevard County, the Brewers' Class A affiliate in the Florida State League.
From 1999-2004, he served as a Major League coach for the Astros, including three seasons as bench coach under Williams.
Tamargo was selected as a catcher by the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth round of the 1973 free agent draft. He played five seasons in the Major Leagues with St. Louis (1976-78), San Francisco (1978-79) and Montreal (1979-80).
"John is a solid baseball man who was been successful managing at all levels of the Minor Leagues," Hunsicker said. "In addition, he brings experience as a Major League coach on several championship teams."