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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Rays: Duncan play ‘flat-out dirty’
Posted Mar 12, 2008 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Mar 12, 2008 at 03:54 PM
Most of the Rays’ starters are out of the game now and their opinions on Shelley Duncan’s bench-clearing slide into Aki Iwamura in the second inning were unanimous.
“Dirty play,” said B.J. Upton. “Just a flat-out dirty play. Period.”
Jonny Gomes said he wasn’t surprised Duncan did what he did considering his comments to the New York media this week that he would consider retaliation for Saturday’s play, and he didn’t hesitate to get involved.
“That was sort of second nature,” he said. “I was taught from T-ball all the way up to have your teammate’s back. With that guy trying to hurt a teammate, I just acted how I acted.”
Gomes did get an initial shot in on Duncan but said an all-out brawl wasn’t his goal.
“I probably could have done a lot of things worse, but it is a baseball field and there’s fans and kids watching,” said Gomes. “I just had to let him know, that’s not going to fly with me on the field.”
Troy Percival was in the clubhouse for the play, but he saw the spike marks visible on Iwamura’s uniform pants, above his knee on the inside of the leg, and wasn’t happy.
“You’re just going out there, spikes high, trying to put them into somebody?” said Percival. “There’s no room in baseball for that kind of stuff. Ty Cobb’s been gone a long time.”
Like others in the clubhouse, Percival expressed surprise that the Yankees would be involved in a play like that.
“It’s not typical of them, that’s for sure,” said Percival. “They’ve always been a professional organization. They’ve always played hard and they’ve always played smart. I won’t say that about today’s game.”