MINNEAPOLIS -- New Boston Red Sox manager Butch Hobson phoned pitching coach Bill Fischer yesterday and told him he was being replaced by Rich Gale, Hobson's pitching coach at Pawtucket.
Fischer, who turns 61 tomorrow, came to the Red Sox with former manager John McNamara in 1985. He was retained in 1988 when Joe Morgan, who was fired Tuesday, replaced McNamara.
The move reportedly was not greeted favorably by Roger Clemens, who is close with Fischer. Although gruff with the media, Fischer was well liked by his pitchers, who considered him a good teacher.
Clemens reportedly told Fischer he was upset and intended to speak with Red Sox management about the issue.
Gale, 37, has built up a solid reputation since he was hired as a minor-league pitching coach. The righthander was 55-56 during a seven-year big-league career and occasionally has been activated when the PawSox have been short on pitching.
Among other things, Fischer invented the so-called "slide-step move," a quick delivery that is now commonly used to keep runners close at first base.
While pitching for the Kansas City Athletics, he set a major-league record of 84 1/3 innings without walking a batter in 1962. He is also remembered for giving up a titanic home run to Mickey Mantle at Yankee Stadium in 1963.