McClure enjoying tenure with Red Sox

McClure enjoying tenure with Red Sox

McClure enjoying tenure with Red Sox
KANSAS CITY -- Bob McClure was in a quandary. His wife, Shirley, had just given birth to twin sons. The Red Sox wondered if he'd like to be their pitching coach.

McClure wanted to help Shirley at home with Teddy and Brock, who were born on Dec. 30, so he told the Red Sox no.

"Mostly because the babies were just born," McClure said. "Was I interested in becoming the Boston Red Sox's pitching coach? Are you kidding? That chance only comes up once in a lifetime. It was just kind of funny timing."

McClure, dismissed after six years as Kansas City's pitching coach, had joined the Red Sox to do some scouting for vice president/player personnel Allard Baird, the Royals' former general manager who'd brought him to Kansas City. McClure could do that out of his Stuart, Fla., home, but the Red Sox needed a pitching coach.

"After talking it over with my wife Shirley, she said, 'We'll work it out with the kids,'" McClure said.

So he told Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington he'd take the job. Although McClure, 60, never played for Boston in his 19-year big league career, he felt an attachment to the city. His mother, who now lives in San Francisco, was from Boston and he has a sister living there.

When McClure asked his mother if he should take the job, her answer was emphatic

"Are you nuts?," she said. "This is the Boston Red Sox!"

Shirley and the twins spent part of Spring Training with him in Florida and they were with him during the Red Sox series at Kauffman Stadium.

Although he barely knew manager Bobby Valentine, McClure is thoroughly enjoying being on his staff. McClure is Boston's third pitching coach in the past three years, so he's still learning about the pitchers and earning their trust.

"You have Jon Lester and [Josh] Beckett and [Clay] Buchholz and these two kids, [Felix] Doubront and [Daniel] Bard," said McClure. "As far as the rotation goes, it's a joy. And the bullpen's been fabulous, like unbelievable."

And so are Shirley and the twins, said the proud pop.