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Maddon, Longoria upset at fan

Posted May 3, 2009 by Marc Lancaster

Updated May 3, 2009 at 06:10 PM

The guy, whoever he is, wouldn’t have been as notorious as Steve Bartman if the Rays had somehow managed to lose today’s game, but the Rays were unhappy just the same at the guy who jousted Evan Longoria for a foul ball that would have been the final out in the ninth.

The Jacoby Ellsbury pop that came down just past the Red Sox dugout appeared headed for Longoria’s glove as he leaned over into the stands, but two men—both of whom appeared to be wearing Rays T-shirts—waded in at the same time and the ball ended up falling for a mere strike. Longoria was clearly upset afterward, gesturing with his glove and shouting as he turned back to the infield.

“I didn’t say anything specifically to him, but I know I had a few choice words that were said aloud,” Longoria said of the fan who ultimately bumped him off the ball. “He knew that he was wrong and I think some of the fans were giving him some stuff after. They did their job.”

Manager Joe Maddon, meanwhile, took time in his postgame news conference—without even being asked—to address the play.

“I’d like the fan to understand, the one on the third-base side, you don’t do those things. Really,” Maddon said. “Our fans need to know that. In a game like that, you’re in our ballpark, you let our fielders field that ball, because once the fielder reaches in [to the stands] the fan can catch it and there’s going to be no interference called. Just so our fans know the proper etiquette right there, because that was a big play. You never want to give the Red Sox an extra out.”

Longoria said he understood the impulse, but hoped fans would understand how precious potential outs can be in that situation.

“I think it’s a hard thing because your initial reaction is to go after the ball as a fan – you want a souvenir,” Longoria said. “But geez, in that situation, especially with Pedroia coming up in a close ballgame, you don’t want to give them any opportunities. If we can put the game away there, it makes it a lot easier. I was a little bit upset.”

 

Reader Comments

Por (Bill E) on May 04, 2009 (Suggest removal)

It’s a shame that Maddon and Longoria have to rage about this. I think the fan realized his mistake afterwards. And yes, it could have been a game changer.
But, the fans support the team. The team does not support the fans. I bet the Rays want forgiveness when “they” make an error.
There’s a better way for Maddon and Longoria to get their point across. How about running over and chattin’ with the guy after the last out like a team mate. Square it up. Make sure he learned. Make him and the fans feel like the 10th man thay are. Just tell the guy the Rays need ya and to think about the situation next time.
That’s coaching. That’s team mates. That’s players and coaches appreciating their fans.

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Por (Ron Barbeck) on May 04, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Come on guys!  You baseball people sound like whining cry babys about this foul ball.  Plain and simple, the ball was in the stands.  Did I say the ball was in the stands?...  The fans have every right to try and catch the ball, even if it was a “crucial” situation.  Get over it.  You should be embarrassed how you reacted Evan.  Grow up!

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Por (berlin) on May 04, 2009 (Suggest removal)

O enough that poor guy felt horrible about it. Both fans in fact, it wasn’t just the one. Hopefully lesson learned. I’m still not convinced Longoria could have gotten to it anyhow. And did you see Percy AFTER winning the game yelling at the guy like crazy, as if he didn’t feel bad enough as it was. And no i’m not that guy.

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Por (Tom Hugley) on May 04, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Maddon, I understand your frustations, however when you refer to a fan that he/she is in your ballpark, you are wrong. The ballpark belongs more to the fans that it does the players or coaches, or whoever. Try and pull down a 7 figure salary with no fans in YOUR ballpark. Without a fan being there to get in the way, he may have gotten in the way of your salary. Remember, a fan pays a premium for a ticket, stupid money for a beer, and really stupid money to travel back and forth to the stadium all together, to sit on a plastic seat or a metal bench to pay you SUPER STUPID WAGES! Take care and be happy that fans still travel to the ball park under the unfriendly rip off (meaning money) conditions that the ballpark chooses to impose.

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Por (John P.) on May 04, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Ron-why don’t you worry about the KC Royals and shut the hell up.

Berlin-“not convinced Longoria could have gotten to it anyhow” obviously you weren’t even watching. Wow I mean find a replay man-it couldn’t have been closer!

Bill-I completely agree aside from the statement about them raging.  Although Longoria was visibly upset, neither of them were raging.

It’s about passion, and siezing the moment-something the Rays have been lacking most of this season, and seemed to have found in this series with a division rivalry.  With the game also nationally on TBS-it just makes Tampa look clueless.  Like the “Devil” Rays of old. 
The Rays and their fans should (are) better than that, so show it.

I’m over it-it’s game time

GO RAYS!

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Por (Jon Giunta) on May 04, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Go one Maddon way to bring the fans out to the ballpark. Not only are we all in fear of losing our jobs and not being able to go see a game, but now also in fear of being yelled at by a player. Great way to increase attendance.

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Por (Britney Spears) on May 04, 2009 (Suggest removal)

“Bad fan, go Rays!”...GOD

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Por (w k johnson) on May 04, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I have five ray’s caps, four shirts, a mirror, numerous stickers and cups, stuffed animals, action figures and Christmas ornaments. I have sat in the stands with 3000 other fans on a Thursday afternoon game against the Royals. I have driven four hours to attend games and at their conclusion have driven back home.I have purchased satellite radio so I could follow my Devil Rays/Rays. I have been passionate about the team since the first year. After watching the reaction to the fan catching the foul ball( in the second row) and the subsequent reaction of coach and player, I would like the address of the Rays front office so I could return all my merchandise.

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Por (noname) on May 04, 2009 (Suggest removal)

So what should the guy have done, just sit in his seat and let Eva miss it so he gets hit with the ball. The fan has every right to reach for the ball both in and out of the stands! I guess the Rays manager and players don’t remember what its like when nobody was sitting in their stadium. Shut up and play ball and Thank every fan that sits in the seats in your stadium. You just lost a fan you crybabies!

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Por (John P.) on May 04, 2009 (Suggest removal)

noname (of course)-Lost a “fan” Wouldn’t a “fan” know that IF the fan had reached into the field it would be interference and batter out-if there was a play on the ball. (which wasn’t even yesterdays situation so it’s a mute point)

wk johnson- the over dramatic merchandise man, I think you forgot to mention the Rays panties your step mom knit for you. Oh and I go just as far, but I walk, in the snow both ways.

Try harder guys

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Por (berlin) on May 04, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Seen it John P, and WOW no i’m still not convinced.

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Por (Mark) on May 05, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Longoria acted as a competitor in the heat of the moment, I have no problem with that, Maddon addressed it in a composed manner, no problem, the real Problem I have is with Percival. His temper tantrum he threw on the mound after the game was very un-professional, Longoria was laughing after the game glad they got the W.
Percival just proved once again he is way overpaid and should be gone.

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Por (Dave) on May 05, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I live very close to the Trop and feel like walking up to where the players come out to go home and tossing my Rays stuff over the fence. This makes me sick. I will never look at Maddon the same way again if Percival is not publicly remanded. I’m finished rootin’ for these scumbags ’til there is an apology to ALL fans. When Fat Percy blows another save he better be ready to hear it. YOU SOB!!

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Por (berlin) on May 05, 2009 (Suggest removal)

chill out folks, move on. Percy is really the only one that made himself look like the meathead that he is anyway. GO RAYS!

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Por (Joe D.) on May 05, 2009 (Suggest removal)

The guy couldn’t know if Longoria was going to make a play or not.  He was in the 3rd row and looking up at the ball.  I guess he should have let it hit his kid in the head just in case Longoria makes a great play in the 3rd row.  Can’t believe people think its OK for players to treat the fans like this.  I don’t care if the fan was in the wrong, you don’t cuss at a guy in front of his kid.

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