Reds unload Pole as their pitching coach

Published 11:20 pm Saturday, October 3, 2009

CINCINNATI — Pitching coach Dick Pole has been fired by the Cincinnati Reds.

Pole was finishing his third season with the team, which began Friday seventh in the National League with a 4.52 ERA.

‘‘I told Dick when I got here today,’’ manager Dusty Baker said. ‘‘He was hurt, and it was difficult for me, because you know how close we are. I’d rather be the one to tell him because of my relationship with Dick and my respect for what he’s done in the game. It was a tough decision, an organizational decision.”

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I don’t want to get into specifics because I don’t think that would serve a point.’’

General manager Walt Jocketty said he has several candidates in mind.

‘‘As an organization, we feel that Dick has done a good job,’’ Jocketty said. ‘‘At this point, we felt going forward we needed to make a change, and leave it at that.’’

Pole joined the joined the staff in 2007 under manager Jerry Narron, replacing Tom Hume, who served as interim pitching coach following the death of Vern Ruhle. Pole also has served as the pitching coach for the Expos, Indians, Angels, Giants and Cubs.

Chris Speier (bench), Brook Jacoby (hitting), Billy Hatcher (first base), Mark Berry (third base), Juan ‘‘Porky’’ Lopez (bullpen) and Mike Stefanski (bullpen catcher) will return for next season.