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The Upton-Longoria dustup: What they’re saying

Posted Jun 27, 2010 by Tribune Sports

Updated Jun 27, 2010 at 09:52 PM


By TONY FABRIZIO

ST. PETERSBURG - Read our stories on the TBO.com Rays page for a full account of the Rays’ 2-1 loss to the Diamondbacks today and the altercation between center fielder B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria.

Here is an expanded version of what manager Joe Maddon, Upton and Longoria had to say in the clubhosue after the game:

MADDON:

“Yeah, it was kind of interesting, wasn’t it? B.J. came in off the field after that particular play, and everybody saw it, and some guys were not real pleased. I was walking down that way, and certain things were said. It’s not unlike what had happened a couple of years ago at Texas, where we had the (Matt) Garza-(Dioner) Navarro confrontation. It’s something that happens during the course of a major league season. It happens on many teams, actually. It’s just one of those moments that happen, and now it’s up to me to handle it properly.”

On the play:

“He (Upton) was set up on the other side. ... He was set up in right-center field, and the guy (Rusty Ryal) pulled it into left center, and he (Upton) did not run as hard as he possibly could after the ball—that as obvious. The double would have been a big play there, as opposed to a triple; however the home run (by Gerardo Parra) made it a moot point. However you still hae to really keep the guy from attempting to get to three (third base), and he made it relatively easily.

“I’m always fine with the teammate saying something. I really encourage, and obviously, the buck stops here, but I always encourage the interaction among the group and the policing of the group among themselves. I think that’s always the most effective way. And I thought I saw a great example of that today.”

On any disciplinary action against Upton for reacting angrily:

“That’s up to me to decide, and when I decide (inaudible).”

“I was watching how it unfolded, and I thought it was handled properly. I was pleased with it.”

“Again that’s something that needs to be between me and him, and I need to discuss that with him further. But I was not displeased with how the group as a whole handled it.”


UPTON

“(It was) just a little run-in. Over the course of the season, it’s going to happen.It ‘s done with and over.”

On whether he over-reacted:

“You know what? It doesn’t matter. At this point it doesn’t matter. We just disagreed. We talked about it. It’s's done with and moved on. We can’t have those types of distractions. Move on and try to win some ballgames. We’re in the middle of a pennant race right now, and that’s all that matters.”

On the play:

“You know what? Where I was positioned, it’s a long way to go. Joe’s always saying you shouldn’t assume, but I assumed that the left fielder (Matt Joyce) might be there, but he wasn’t. Maybe I should have cut it off (the ball), but it’s over now.”

“It’s squashed. Think nothing of it. We’ll be fine tomorrow.”


LONGORIA

“It’s just a byproduct of a frustrated team. We’re trying to win games, and guys are going to have differences of opinions. That’s the bottom line. We’ve talked about it. We’ve hashed it out, and it goes no further (than) today.”

On what was said:

“We just talked about the situation in the outfield and the positioning - it’s not that big of a deal. It’s just a cuople of guys who are frustrated with the way they’re playing and not being able to help the team, and I I think it got a little (more) out of hand than it should have. We talked about it and it’s already buried.”

“Me and B.J., he’s probably my closest friend on this team. So as far as it carrying over into tomorrow or the next day, we’ve talked about it; it’s done. It’s buried and we’ve moved on to the next day.”

“B.J. understands that I’m going to talk to him, and everybody is going to talk to him as a teammate - not in any kind of negative way. Again, I think if thigns are going well for us and we’re not really frustrated as a club, nobody’s even in here talking about it. But with with what we’re going through as a club, emotions are hot.

“B.J. is an emotional player. When we’re not playing up to our potential, things get multiplied. I don’t think it got that out of hand, to be honest with you. It looks a lot worse from the outside.”

On how he saw the play:

“I saw it all unfold in from of me. I guess B and Joyce had a little difference of opinion on the positioning of the outfield, and that’s something I can’t see from my perspective. I think B.J. and Joyce will talk about that, and me and B.J. talked about the situation in the dugout. We just move on. It’s a play that only B.J. knows what was going through his head at the time. I see things differently than he does. We talked about the situation, and he explained to me what he saw going on throughout the play, and I’m fine with it.”

On whether he thought Upton should have run harder to cut the ball off:

“I don’ tcare to answer on what I think he should have done. I just wanted to know what was going through his head. He (Upton) had thought that Matt was in a different position and that he had a chance to get the ball, so he didn’t really think that it was his ball. I understand that and I gave him my point of view, and we move forward.”

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