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‘Manager’ Morris makes pitching change

Posted Mar 8, 2011 by Roger Mooney

Updated Mar 8, 2011 at 04:22 PM

Before today’s game, Rays manager Joe Maddon said Bucs coach Raheem Morris would join him in the dugout and had carte blanche to call hit and runs and bunts.

How about change pitchers?

“I like that,” Maddon said.

So, with one out in the top of the fourth and James Shields at his 60-pitch limit, Maddon sent Morris out to change pitches.

“It was funny. I’m definitely used to seeing Joe come out there,” Shields said. “He came out, he walked out to the mound and said, ‘So what do we do now?’ I said you’re supposed to get the ball from me, and he’s like, ‘Oh, OK. Then hand me the ball. What are we doing after the game?’ This is what we’re supposed to talk about out there. It was pretty funny.”

Shields said he had no idea Morris would be making the change.

“I didn’t know he was coming. I saw him right when he walked out of the dugout,” Shields said. “I started smiling out there. I thought it was pretty funny.”

Morris took out the lineup card before the game and had his picture taken with the umpires.

Bucs wide receivers coach Eric Yarber, who took batting and fielding practice with the Rays in the morning, was the first base coach during the first inning.

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