ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays announced Thursday that Don Zimmer and Stan Boroski will be back with the organization in 2011.
Zimmer, who has spent 52 years in the Major Leagues as a player, coach and manager, announced he'll return for an eighth season as a senior baseball advisor for the Rays. A former All-Star and Manager of the Year, Zimmer will be in uniform in Spring Training and for pregame practice for all 81 of the team's home games at Tropicana Field next season.
Rays players look up to Zimmer and are constantly looking to him for advice on what to do in certain situations, or for tips on how to play the game. Other times he can be seen passing on a tale gathered from any number of generations in the game, leaving players hanging on his every word. Having the access to tap into Zimmer's vast baseball knowledge has served the young Rays well.
Andrew Friedman, Tampa Bay's executive vice president of baseball operations, is pleased to have Zimmer back.
"We're excited that Zim is returning to our staff," said Friedman as part of a team statement. "He is a constant resource for coaches and players alike and a great asset to our entire organization."
Zimmer, 79, who was an All-Star in 1961, earned his earliest acclaim as the player who manned shortstop for the Dodgers in between iconic infielders Pee Wee Reese and Maury Wills. Zimmer went on to manage four teams, logging an 885-858 record for San Diego, Boston, Texas and the Cubs before embarking on a celebrated career as a coach and advisor.
Zimmer, who was named the 1989 Manager of the Year for leading the Cubs to a 93-69 record, later served as bench coach for Joe Torre and the Yankees from 1996-2003. Zimmer earned an even higher profile for being a part of that latter-day Yankees dynasty, and he's parlayed that into a post-coaching career as an advisor for the Rays.
Boroski, 47, will be back as the assistant to the pitching coach. Like Zimmer, Boroski will be in uniform for Spring Training and for all pregame practices. He took over the position prior to the 2010 season, becoming the second to hold the job following Brian Anderson, who moved up to the broadcast booth to be a color commentator for the Rays.
"I'm thrilled to be coming back," said Boroski, who said he had a pretty good idea about what the job entailed heading into the 2010 season, but really got a feel for the position as the season went on.
Most nights, Boroski can be seen in the press box once the game begins. One of his main duties is to help the different pitchers develop their game plans by culling through the vast amounts of available information he is privy to and combining what he feels is applicable with what he sees during the games.
"I now know more about the kind of information each of the different pitchers like to have," Boroski said. "All of their game plans are so different."
Before joining the Rays, Boroski spent 18 years with the Astros, where he had served as either a coach or scout, including his final three seasons in the organization when he was the pitching coach for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks of the Texas League.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.