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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Maddon: Fine from fracas ‘unjust’
Posted May 24, 2009 by Marc Lancaster
Updated May 24, 2009 at 12:19 PM
MIAMI—Looking ahead to tomorrow’s opener of a four-game series with the Indians, Rays manager Joe Maddon said he doesn’t expect a pregame meeting with the umpires in a preemptive attempt to calm any emotions that may still be hot after the benches cleared during a game between the teams at the Trop a week ago.
But he also said the $500 fine he incurred from MLB for “inciting” the incident wasn’t fair, considering no one else involved was punished.
“That’s totally unjust. It’s totally unjust,” said Maddon. “I didn’t incite anything; I was reacting. There’s a difference between inciting and reacting. I think the reaction part of things, if that’s going to be fined, then the inciter should also be fined. To indicate that I was the inciter, I think, is a total misconception, misappropriation, lack of good judgment on that situation.”
Maddon yelled and gestured from the dugout after Kerry Wood’s first pitch sailed behind B.J. Upton and his second just missed the Rays’ center fielder on the inside corner. Indians catcher Victor Martinez, in turn, screamed at Maddon in the dugout and both benches emptied for a round of bumping and shouting but no real trouble other than that.
The umpires allowed Wood to stay in the game, with crew chief Tim McClelland saying afterward he didn’t believe the veteran intended to hit Upton. Both teams were warned, but Troy Percival was not ejected when he hit Mark DeRosa the following inning, as the umpires also judged that plunking unintentional.
Maddon said following the game that he didn’t expect any carryover when the teams met again a week later and he said today he didn’t expect to be called in with Indians manager Eric Wedge before the game.
“I really think, based on the way the league has acted, I think both sides understand what’s going on,” Maddon said. “We’ve been down this road before; we just want to go out and play baseball. We are not out to try to hurt anybody. We just want to go play our game like we play it and we don’t attempt to legislate to anybody else. Just play the game of baseball.”