First base coach Luis Alicea expressed surprise and sadness that he was not renewed on Terry Francona’s coaching staff for 2009.
Asked whether there was a problem that led to his dismissal, Alicea said, “If there was anything else, I don’t have an answer. I had some goals when I arrived here and I think we were able to accomplish all of them.”
Alicea, who was the infield coach and also coached the speed game, pointed to Kevin Youkilis becoming a Gold Glove first baseman after transitioning from third base and Dustin Pedroia becoming rookie of the year and possibly the Most Valuable Player. He said one of his goals for Pedroia this season was for the second baseman to steal more than 20 bases and that was accomplished.
“I was proud to wear the Red Sox uniform,” said Alicea, who had been promoted from the Sox minor league system before the 2007 season and had also played second base for the Red Sox during his playing career. “My experiences there will make me a better coach in the future. I was able to go to Japan, win a World Series with a great group of guys. We all worked together. I think the players responded to everything I tried to do with them.”
Alicea, who said he had no problems with Francona, said he was told of the news by the manager at about noon today.
“He just told me they were going to make changes and I was one of the changes,” said Alicea. “I’ve received about a hundred calls today and everyone’s surprised. I’m surprised.”
He expects to join another organization “in the next couple of days” but wouldn’t reveal who he was talking to.