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Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
By Bob Finnigan
OAKLAND If it works out, Chris Bosio, the former Mariners pitcher and minor-league instructor, could be coming back to the Seattle organization.
Bosio, a bulldog right-hander for Milwaukee and Seattle as a player, has spoken several times with Benny Looper, Mariners director of player development, about returning to his position as a part-time instructor in the farm system.
Bosio had worked with Mariners minor-leaguers for several years before taking a job in 2003 as Lou Piniella's pitching coach in Tampa Bay.
He resigned from the Rays late last season to deal with the health issues of several family members. Bosio now is home in Appleton, Wis., which is also the location of Seattle's Class A entry in the Midwest League.
"Boz did a great job with our kids before," Looper said. "He worked on so much more than pitching mechanics, things like heart and courage. We are definitely interested in having him back."
Bosio, currently hosting a sports talk show in Appleton, is equally interested.
"I'd love to be back with the Mariners, working with kids," he said. "My main concern is that I fit in in the same kind of capacity I had before. I wouldn't want to step on anyone's toes."
Bosio had gone from part-time instructor to full-time when Tacoma pitching coach Jim Slaton had to attend to an illness in his family.
Piniella thought so highly of Bosio, he made Bosio one of his first hires when he left the Mariners for Tampa Bay.
"I was having such a great time," Bosio said. "But in life you have to deal with what you're given, and I had to be at home at that time. Things are much better now."
Bosio said budget matters "will be no problem. I want to be back."
Manager Bob Melvin and outfield coach Mike Aldrete walked into the outfield at Network Associates Coliseum to check conditions after the Oakland Raiders hosted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Sunday night NFL game.
"The field is all right, not as hard as I thought," Melvin said. "I've been here before after football games and it's a lot better this time. Left is OK, so is right. Center field is the only place where there could be a problem."
Then he added, "So what I'm going to do is make Ichiro play center today."
This raised eyebrows among the throng of Japanese media A's public relations issued 140 additional credentials for the game, almost all from Japan until Melvin said, "Just kidding."
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