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Crawford Was Robbed, But His Behavior Might Draw Suspension

Posted Sep 3, 2007 by Aaron Knox

Updated Sep 3, 2007 at 08:22 PM

I’ve been around this team pretty much since its inception. In a decade of bad baseball, I’ve never seen a call as bad as the one I just saw go against Carl Crawford in the bottom of the third against the Orioles.

Crawford came up with the bases loaded and no outs and punched a hopper over the head of pitcher Kurt Birkins. As the run scored, Crawford motored down the line and Orioles SS Miguel Tejada scooped up the grounder and fired to first. Few infielders in the game have an arm as strong as Tejada’s, so it figured the play would be close even with Crawford running. As it turned out, though, Tejada’s throw pulled first baseman Kevin Millar off the bag on the home plate side, and Crawford was clearly safe. How safe? Millar’s body language showed that he wasn’t even thinking about the out at first. In fact, his foot was at least 18 inches off the bag when he caught the ball.

I’ve never seen Crawford this angry. When first base umpire Paul Nauert punched him out, Crawford leaped high in the air, grabbed his batting helmet off his head and flung it to the ground with both hands as he moved toward Nauert, who immediately ejected Crawford from the game. C.C. wasn’t done, though; he leaped again after throwing his helmet down and only the intervention of first base coach George Hendrick kept Crawford from getting at Nauert. Then, with Hendrick basically shielding Nauert from Crawford, the Rays’ left fielder leaped again—nearly vaulting Hendrick’s back as he tried to get at Nauert.

He continued to yell from a short distance away as Hendrick and Joe Maddon argued his case to no avail.

It was at least the second ejection in Crawford’s career. He was run at some point last year, and the Rays PR staff is checking to see if there were any others in his Rays career.

This one, though, will almost surely draw at least some consideration for a suspension by MLB. When Crawford tried to leap over Hendrick, he forced the first base coach physically into the umpire—and contact with an umpire is a big no-no.

Jonny Gomes, who had been scheduled to be off tonight and tomorrow as he works on getting his mind right during a 2-for-22 slump over the past six games, has entered the game as Crawford’s replacement in left and as the No. 2 hitter.

Incidentally, it was the second questionable call of the game for Nauert, who signalled Orioles 3B Melvin Mora safe on an infield single that started Baltimore’s four-run rally in the third. Nauert, 44, has been a major-league umpire since 1999.

Reader Comments

Por (Ricky Clarke) on September 03, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Horrible call, one of the worst I’ve seen in a long time, if ever.  CC had every right to argue and be angry.  I mean I understand missed calls are a part of the game.  But at least get umpires that know the difference between bush league and major league basbeall.

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Por (joe becker) on September 03, 2007 (Suggest removal)

I was right there on first base line and he was safe. i was so mad at the time I threw my turkey leg at the umpire and crawford kicked it at the umpire, then the umpire kicked it back at him. After that I was ejected from the game along with carl, but it was so worth it. If you find video footage of it I would love to see it. Go Rays!!

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Por (Jim Smith) on September 03, 2007 (Suggest removal)

The worst call I’ve ever seen. Millar’s foot was not even close to the bag. I can understand Crawford getting ejected from this game, but it should end there. The only person deserving a suspension is the umpire!

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Por (stephen hoffman) on September 04, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Ever right to be angry and to give the ump an ear full. As a Rays team leader he has to, because clearly Joe Madden is drinking merlot before the games, and is not going to fight for his players. As long as he lets his team get the worst end of close calls and the strike zone for Ray’s pitchers gets squeezed to the size of a match box the umpires know they won’t get grief from Merlot Joe and the other team mgr won’t be giving them any grief, an easy nights work. Before these young good players go the way of A Huff with their play and attitude, it is time for Joe to go.

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Por (jim dearden) on September 04, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Umpires are supposed to look at the bag and listen for the ball to hit the glove. How could he miss a call like that? A case should be made by CC that the ump should be suspended. They are after all, supposed to be inpartial.

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Por (dick shearer) on September 04, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Maybe someone should check and see if that umpire made a bet with his [bookie] on this game—I can see making a bad call but two of them in the same game-a lot of questions should be asked -the umpire should be suspended not CC

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Por (John A. Valenti) on September 04, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Ill tell ya one thing- that was exciting seeing C.C. go crazy like that. Thats what I love about him. he’s taken so many frustrating years here, still made a name for himself, and even on the verge of another 100 loss season, he holds the competitive fire to outburst over an obvious miss call like that. C.C. Will FOREVER be one of my favorite players, Devil Ray or not. I hope he doesnt get suspended, he’s not exactly a guy to have such outbursts often.

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