By: Reid Pittman



Jim Hickey, pitching coach for the Tampa Bay Rays, called into the Ron and Ian Show today to talk about the recent signing of right handed closer, Grant Balfour, and upcoming spring training.

When asked about his reaction, Hickey admitted the signing of Balfour was a bit of a surprise. 

“No, Jim Hickey did not know about that,” Hickey said. “I was totally caught off guard as well.”

However, he adds that the addition of Balfour has put solidified the closer’s roll but also put the rest of the roles in perspective in the Ray’s bullpen, which includes, RH Joel Peralta, RH J.C. Oviedo, LH Jake McGee and RH Heath Bell among others.

Things got a little loose during the interview, with Ron and Ian telling Hickey that Balfour was coming back for revenge after their 2010 “scuffle,” which landed the Aussie on the IR. Hickey joked that he isn’t worried about the outcome and that Round 2 should be a bigger production. 

“Well I’m not really scared but there are going to be a different set of rules,” Hickey said. The Rays’ longtime coach suggested that there will be a tag-team event including Ron and Ian, where they will promote it and make some money for charity.

To listen to Hickey’s full comments on Balfour, why the Rays will be the “best ball club since 2010,” spring training in Port Charlotte and more, listen below: