Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Coghlan apologizes to Aki, other notes
Posted May 24, 2009 by Marc Lancaster
Updated May 24, 2009 at 06:29 PM
MIAMI—There was plenty to cover in the Rays’ clubhouse following this game, and not much of it had to do with the result.
First and foremost, it doesn’t look good for Akinori Iwamura, who was traversing the clubhouse on crutches with his left leg in a heavy brace. The Rays say they won’t have an idea how long he might be out until tomorrow’s MRI and Iwamura echoed that, but this obviously isn’t going to be simply a two-week situation.
“From what I heard, he’s not going to be back soon,” said Jason Bartlett.
As for the slide by Chris Coghlan, Bartlett said he didn’t have a problem with it. But others in the clubhouse did. Carlos Pena said, “I didn’t like it,” and Joe Maddon said he thought the slide may have come a bit late. Others talked about Coghlan hitting Iwamura’s leg with his upper body rather than his feet.
Coghlan, for his part, came over to the Rays’ clubhouse and talked briefly with Iwamura outside the door, telling him at one point that he felt awful for what happened. Iwamura said he appreciated that gesture.
“I never try to injury somebody,” Coghlan told reporters in the Marlins’ clubhouse. “I’ll be praying for him. I don’t think there was an illegal slide, or anything like that. I know what it’s like. I’ve played second. So I know what he’s going through. I apologized and asked if he was okay. I didn’t know really what to do in the situation with the game being played. Watching him lay there, you feel awful, because you never want to hurt somebody. But at the same time I’ve got to try to break up the double play.”
As for the roster situation, Iwamura’s injury changed the Rays’ plans a bit. They won’t add David Price to the roster until tomorrow, likely taking Iwamura’s spot when he is placed on the 15-day disabled list. Considering Pat Burrell is expected to be back Tuesday or Wednesday, the Rays appear prepared to keep Dale Thayer as an extra pitcher for a couple more days and send him down when Burrell is ready.
Maddon said it could be Zobrist, Brignac or Aybar playing second in Iwamura’s absence, though either Zobrist or Brignac will be at short tomorrow with Bartlett slated to get a day off. The Rays said Bartlett had a left ankle sprain from that play in the 10th inning, but he didn’t have a wrap on his foot and sounded like he’ll be fine after a day or two.