ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -Don Zimmer is planning to return for his 60th season in baseball next year.
Tampa Bay principal owner Stuart Sternberg has said that Zimmer, a senior adviser for the Devil Rays, will have a job with the organization as long as he wants one.
``I would like to come back for my 60th year,'' Zimmer said Wednesday before the Devil Rays played Boston. ``It would mean a lot.''
The Devil Rays honored Zimmer with a night earlier this season, giving away Zimmer bobbleheads and inviting several of his former teammates, including Duke Snider from the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers World Series championship team.
``In a sense it's a special year,'' Zimmer said. ``It would mean a lot more to me if we could win some more games. To me, that would be the greatest thing, if we could turn this thing around and be very respectable next year.''
Zimmer was a bench coach for the New York Yankees from 1996-2003, helping the Yankees win four World Series championships. He also managed the 1989 Chicago Cubs, a team many people picked to finish last, to a division title.
Zimmer is hopeful that the youthful Devil Rays, who have never had a .500 season, can exceed expectations in 2008 like his Cubs did nearly two decades earlier.
``We all know we're in a tough division, but there's no sense in crying about it,'' Zimmer said. ``That's the way it is. It's still fun to see some of the young guys perform and get better and better. Nothing would be greater if, at the All-Star break, the club was playing .500. Wouldn't that be great? It would be. You never know, it could happen.''
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