Hickey to return as pitching coach despite no contest DUI plea

Updated: November 2, 2007, 2:13 AM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Jim Hickey was retained Thursday as pitching coach of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, three days after he pleaded no contest to charges of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage.

Hickey, who agreed to a one-year contract to complete manager Joe Maddon's staff for next season, was arrested after a Sept. 30 accident in which he drove his pickup truck into the back of a vehicle driven by a Devil Rays bat boy near Tropicana Field.

"I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue coaching for the Rays," Hickey said in a statement released by the team. "Last month, I let down my family, the organization, and the Tampa Bay community. I am truly sorry for my actions."

The team said in addition to the court-ordered 50 hours of community service that Hickey has already completed, the pitching coach will perform extra community service under the direction of the club.

"Ever since the incident, Jim has shown contrition and has taken full responsibility for his actions," Devil Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "We are confident he has learned from his mistakes, and we are ready for him to resume his responsibilities with our club."

Hickey joined the Devil Rays in October 2006 after spending 16 seasons in the Houston Astros organization.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press