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Rick Adair

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Michael Richard Adair

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Rick Adair was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the third round of the 1979 amateur draft and played seven seasons in the minors before his career was ended by elbow injuries. He reached AAA in 1983 before pitching at the AA level for his last two years. Overall Adair had a 44-46 record with 9 saves and an ERA of 3.92. He appeared in 214 games, 90 of them as a starter.

After his playing career ended, Adair started on a lengthy second career as a pitching coach. The Cleveland Indians hired him in 1986 to work as a Carolinas area scout to start the year and then to coach the Burlington Indians pitchers once the Appalachian League season began. Adair gained a promotion in 1987 as pitching coach for the Waterloo Indians followed by a year with the Kinston Indians. In 1989 he jumped to AAA with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox and remained their pitching coach until June 14, 1991. At that time the Indians called their minor league pitching instructor Dom Chiti to coach in Cleveland and moved Adair into Chiti's former position. Ken Rowe replaced Adair in Colorado Springs. Adair reached the major leagues in 1992 as the Indians' pitching coach. He returned in 1993 but was fired on August 26th. Years later he admitted that he was overmatched at that stage of his career.

After leaving Cleveland, Adair served as the pitching coach for the Wichita Wranglers in the San Diego Padres organization. The Detroit Tigers hired him in 1995 to coach the Toledo Mud Hens. Adair spent most of the 1996 season as the Tigers' minor league hitting coordinator. When the Tigers fired pitching coach Jon Matlack on September 12th, Adair assumed his responsibilities for the rest of the year. The Tigers retained Adair for 1997 and he served as their pitching coach until July 9, 1999. It is difficult to assess the quality of any Tiger's manager or coach during these years as the Tigers had some really poor quality teams.

Adair's coaching career turned in a slightly different direction over the next several years. He joined the Atlanta Braves organization in 2000 and served as the team's pitching coordinator through the 2003 season. He next moved to the Toronto Blue Jays player development system for a one year stint as the pitching coach for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. From 2005-2008 Adair worked in the Texas Rangers organization as their minor league pitching coordinator. After the Rangers fired Frisco RoughRiders pitching coach Steve Luebber on July 26, 2005 Adair took over as the interim pitching coach. He resumed his coordinator duties after the season.

In 2009 the Seattle Mariners hired Adair for their pitching coach position. The team's pitching improved significantly as the team's 2008 ERA of 4.73 dropped to 3.87 in 2009. The team overall went from losing 101 games to having a winning record at 85-77. Given this improvement, the 2010 Mariners opened the season expecting good things, but it was not to be. This collapse led to the August 9th decision to fire manager Don Wakamatsu, bench coach Ty Van Burkleo and Adair. At the time, the team had a 42-70 record which was the second worst in the American League and the Mariners were well on their way to losing 101 games again. The pitching was not the main culprit in the slide as the staff ERA only rose to 3.93.

Adair joined the Baltimore Orioles in 2011 and served as the team's bullpen coach until June 14th. Pitching coach Mark Connor resigned on that date for personal reasons and Adair assumed his responsibilities. Adair continued as the pitching coach through the 2013 season. After his dismissal he said he wasn't sure if he would coach in 2014 or not. As it turns out, his stint with the Orioles was the last hurrah of a long coaching career.

Adair is the nephew of former big leaguer Art Fowler and a cousin to Wayne Tolleson and Mike Tolleson (first cousin, once removed). He is therefore also related to Steve Tolleson. He is the father of Travis Adair. He primarily wore number 24.

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