Red Sox Rays Baseball

Time to bring back the GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: James Shields. James the Greater struggled in his opening day start against the Red Sox, but looked more like typical Shieldsy yesterday striking out 6 and walking only 2 for his 3rd win…Carl Crawford. His 6 steals tied the modern big league record and he is now 17-17 on the season. Even more important was CC’s 11th walk of the season, which puts him on pace for more than 70. That would obliterate his previous career-high of 37…Small ball. The rays scored twice in the 4th on a walk, a bloop, a broken bat and a ground ball…Michel Hernandez. What a week for the career minor leaguer. Yesterday he threw out Jacoby Ellsbury trying to steal and then stole one of his own, getting himself into scoring position in the 4th with 2 outs. He didn’t score, but that is the perfect baseball play…Jason Bartlett. Three more hits for Bartlett who is now hitting .368…Troy Percival. It is only fair that we mention his 1-2-3 9th inning. Kinda like seeing a white tiger in the wild. A rare site indeed.

THE BAD: Evan Longoria threw a bit of a fit in the 9th inning when he tried to go into the stands and make a play and the ball was caught by a fan. After the game Joe Maddon went out of his way to criticize the fans without even being asked about the subject. We understand Longo being upset, even if his tirade was a little over the top. But this fan was sitting in the third row. You don’t expect to be part of the play when you are sitting in the third row. We understand Maddon feeling the need to protect his players, but this went too far. We can’t imagine Stuart Sternberg and Matt Silverman are too happy about Maddon throwing a fan under the bus. A fan that bought at least 2 premium seats and an authentic Evan Longoria jersey. This team needs more fans, not less [Ed. note: we are giving Troy Percival the benefit of the doubt that he was not yelling at the fan after the final out, but if he was, that was even more classless than what Longo and Maddon did].

THE TELLING: Carlos Pena has 110 plate appearances this season. He has 11 home runs and 29 strikeouts. In other words, 36.4% of the time, he either homers or strikes out.

SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Carl Crawford. In addition to the 6 steals, CC was on base all 5 times with 4 singles and a walk. He is now hitting .317 with a .385 OBP.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • We have added the WAGs and Trade Pool features to the sidebar links.
  • We answered a few questions about the Rays for Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove. [Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove]
  • Marc Lancaster has some quotes from Joe Maddon and Evan Longoria about the play in the stands in the 9th inning. [Rays Report]

“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.”

  • Gabe Gross and his wife gave birth to their first child, a daughter. [Rays Report]
  • Her Rays compares Carl Crawford and the Red Sox to a certain cartoon rivalry. [Her Rays]
  • Rays the Stakes has their latest “Give me one reason” post. [Rays the Stakes]

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50 Comments

  1. Don says:

    Support for Maddon,Longoria and Percival….
    I’m guessing you have never been in an emotional (game) situation when some outside influence (fan)
    does something that can greatly influence the out come
    of the game??
    I’m sorry but to react (say something) is natural!…too bad for the fans “feelings”…
    I’ll bet he, and about 29,000+ fans… learned something!

    • Read it again. I said I understood Longoria being upset but how many times have you seen a player interfereed with when he goes into the stands? And how many times have you seen that player then jump up and down and throw a fit like Longo did? And Maddon’s response was not in the heat of the moment. It came a half hour after the game was over.

      • brianknowsbest says:

        I think they were both wrong. Longoria overreacted, extremely. And like you said we need more fans not less, and the fan lost his head. but cmon when a ball is flying your way, there is very little time to think and being that baseball has only beeen here for 10 years some fan just dont understand baseball etiquite. If you have ever been to a game at the trop you will witness the bed etiquite quite often, as fan walk and stand in the aisles, quite often, as in yankee or shea, which I grew up in, you would never geat away with that crap. May sound silly, because baseball has been around all ourlives, but you have to creat a culture at the stadium, and that is starting to shape itself. Although, i hated hearing Joe rip the fan, we might of all needed it, come playoff time there will be percentage of those peope 2 to 3 rows in will remember that play, and it may save us an out. However if percival went screaming at the fan after the out, which i thought he did, i wouldnt even care if they cut his fat ass. That was completely class, and the heat of the moment had passed.

      • Yank Fan says:

        I’m sorry, I agree with Don. I really could care less about the Devil Rays (change your name all you want, I don’t care) I am a Yankee fan. However the fans need to learn not to interfere with a play. It does not matter if it was during a regular season game in the beginning of the year or the last game of the world series. If a fan is going to be an idiot they are going to do it when ever. You should, as a writer for the Rays, stick up for the player and coach. As you stated they are a young organization with young fans you could take this opportunity to help train the fans so this does not occur during such a time. I’m curious what you would have wrote if they ended up losing the game?

    • TJ says:

      Considering what the fan had to pay to be in that seat he deserved a shot at the ball. I hate having to watch millionaire crybabies. They have ruined every pro sport. They ought to try working a real job…………..

    • Mets Fan says:

      If it’s so important that a fan doesn’t influence a play like that, redesign the baseball park.

  2. Mike B says:

    I love Longo and was at first pissed at the fan. But as soon as I saw Dirtbag jumping up and down like a little girl I instantly felt sorry for the fan and embarassed for Longoria.

  3. Brixology says:

    I was fine with Evan’s reaction. I like that he cares.

    More importantly, what are we going to do with Izzy? I believe that the Professor has put his money on Shouse, and I guess that makes the most sense.

    Also, did anyone want JP to come out against Youk? Wheeler was standing the bullpen warm and right handed. I don’t think JP has been good enough so far to leave him in there.

    And it should be pointed out that Percy got pretty lucky. I sit looking straight down the first base line and I thought Ellsbury’s ball might get out. Is it too much to ask for a strikeout and a couple weak grounders? Just once this year?

    • You put that much better than I did.

      I don’t want to imply that I am removing all blame from the fans (there were about 3 guys that reached) but the reaction went too far. I have seen Pena interferred with more than once at the Trop and have criticized those fans on here. But you would never see Pena act the way Longo did and I don’t recall Maddon being as vocal.

      But you do make a good point that maybe the fans in general need a wake up call.

    • Jim says:

      I definitely wanted Howell out after Ortiz. Howell has definitely struggled this year, and it seems to me Youk has his number. Wheeler has been pitching better recently and I like the righty-righty match up better.

  4. bobrittner says:

    I think the overreaction is among fans who are quick to criticize Longoria and Maddon or on the other hand who are so quick to abuse the fan.

    Technically the fans who did not make room for Longoria were wrong, but not everyone thinks quickly in the situation. Even if it looked as if the fan who caught the ball was celebrating, it is entirely possible he simply acted automatically with no sense of the situation.

    And if I read the comments by Maddon right, he was simply talking about educating fans to the proper etiquette. His comments were calm and non-judgmental. He indicated the team’s appreciation of fan support and simply asked that they learn to respond properly when Rays players try to make plays in the stands.

    As for Longoria, he is a fierce competitor in a heated rivalry game that the Rays needed desperately. So he lost his temper. It’s no big deal and deserves little attention. This was not George Brett and the pine tar, nor did Longoria do more than almost any hard nosed player would do in the situation.

    • bobrittner says:

      I did not see the incident or hear the interviews so I am reacting purely to the newspaper reports and may be interpreting incorrectly without hearing inflections and the like. But this is what I see in the St. Pete Times article:

      1. Maddon says the Rays love and appreciate the fans and consider them crucial to the team’s success but wants to educate them as to the proper etiquette at ball games. (That seems friendly to me.)

      2. Longoria said afterward he wasn’t directing his choice words at the fan, just the situation. (That sounds ingenuous to me, but it indicates that having settled down he wanted to contain the PR damage.)

      3. Maddon said “I’d like the fan on the third base side to understand you don’t do those things. Really, our fans need to know that, in a game like that, in your ballpark, you let our fielders field that ball.” (That is a perfectly reasonable and non-provocative statement.)

      4. Longoria said, “He knew he was wrong. And I think some of the fans were giving him some stuff after. They did their job.” (I think that is a very clever statement that praises fans who know the “rules”.)

    • I only disagree about Longoria’s reaction. No it wasnt Brett. But I have seen that same play hundreds of times and this is only the fourth or fifth time I can remember a player reacting so vehemently and one of those was Alou in Chicago in the playoffs. It is one thing to be a hard-nosed and driven player. But that was not a reason for him to lose his cool.

  5. Personally, I think that Longo’s on field reaction was warranted. You’re playing your biggest rival, your team is struggling and you’re about to take 3 of 4 from them. Then it looks like you’re going to get out of the game with a foul fly and a fan reaches over for the ball.

    When I started thinking, oh god, Bartman. Then that final fly ball I thought for sure was gone.

    I thought Longo’s comments after the game were fair. He basically said he understood why it happened and thought the fans took care of the issue themselves.

    Also Maddon may have been spouting off, but it’s rare for him to do that, so you can tell it was an issue. And also what Maddon said didn’t seem that harsh, more of a manager treating the fans like his players.

    • Clark says:

      But he didn’t “reach over” for it, the ball came down, right on top of him, in his seat. Yes, as a fan of the home team, he should have given Longoria room to make a play but he didn’t do anything “wrong”. As Maddon said, it can’t even be ruled interference. Some of us, if we’re being honest about it, might have done exactly the same thing and should think about that.

      • Some of us might have, and it’s understandable. You could see the guy punished himself for what happened. I know I’m capable of making that mistake, but usually when I’m sitting in that area of the ballpark I’m glancing over for the fielder as well.

        What I’m saying is that I don’t believe that it was an overreaction by Longo or Maddon.

        • Clark says:

          I hear ya, Peter, and I’m not taking issue with your stance. It’s just that I’m hearing a lot of blowhards (not you) talking about how only an idiot who knows nothing about baseball would be capable of doing such a thing…and I just don’t think those people are being honest about that. I watched the Steve Bartman video earlier and there are at least four Cubs fans who ought to be saying prayers of thanks every night that it didn’t happen to touch their hands instead.

  6. Justin H says:

    With a day where Crawford ties a record and the rays take 3 of 4 from the red sox why is this what we’re talking about? Longoria obviously got caught up in the heat of the moment and Maddon was just defending his player’s reaction. In the end, the play didn’t matter the out was made and the Rays won. If they had lost the game then there could be Steve Bartman references, but they didn’t so can’t we just let this go?

    • That is exactly why I have a problem with Maddon’s comments after the game. This is probably not even an issue today if Maddon doesn’t go out of his way to talk about it after the game. He wasn’t even asked about the play. But by bringing it up anyway, Maddon makes it an issue.

    • Steve says:

      i agree with Prof here. this is a non-issue until Maddon makes it a story.

      on a side note: Knowing Maddon as well as we all do. I am will to bet my Bucs season tickets (not that they are worth very much) that Maddon’s reaction is much different if the Rays lost that game. What i mean is, I dont think Maddon would have been critical at all if the Rays lost. And I doubt he brings it up after the game. After a loss, it is sour grapes. After a win it is a learning experience.

  7. Jason says:

    If this is a game against Baltimore in the middle of June, Evan doesn’t react that way, Percy doesn’t blink an eye and Maddon doesn’t say a word after the game. The problem is, you haven’t won a series since the opener, you are 5 games under .500, you are playing one of the favorites to win the division and the Rays really needed to win that game. The reactions where because of all of the above and to be honest, I didn’t have a problem about it. No mention on Sportscenter or Baseball tonite, so they aren’t making this a big deal either. The guy who caught the ball just got all excited at catching a foul ball at the wrong time but like it was said all around and even in the times, he paid the price, the Rays won and hopefully, 30k and people who follow the Rays no not to do it again. Hopefully they understand not to be Ronde and actually do what the guy did when the Rays are at the plate!

  8. cyl says:

    Did everyone notice that Longo’s been pretty pissed at himself the whole series whenever he hasn’t gotten the guys on base in to score? He even slammed his equipment down in the dugout when he didn’t come through and the Rays had a huge lead. I think it’s pretty refreshing….here’s the fire everyone’s been saying the Rays have been lacking. I’m just happy to see that someone on the team cares and chalk up this reaction as his desire to win showing. Hey, he’s young…he’ll learn to direct his passion better next time.

  9. JimL says:

    Hey, I’m up in NY where those seats are $1K…anybody coming in there looking for a foul ball is getting clocked!

  10. Joe says:

    The FANS make or break you and pay your salary. Think about that before you open your @#%* mouth Maddon! $#@* Longoria should act more professional because that is what he is suppose to be! If this was the seventh game of the world series I could understand the reaction but it wasn’t and besides the batter pop out anyway. Also, if you are so unsure of your pitcher getting the batter out then do you job as a professional manager and replace him. Stop acting like a baby!

  11. Joe D. says:

    I was at the game, I felt that Longo, was just reacting, it was the game ending out, and he “had” it and his own fan wearing his jersey, kept him from making the play.

    However is what was unacceptable was Percy’s reaction, I had no doubt that his reaction was directed at the fan, the game was over the team won. it was DONE, let it go. I hope the fines Percy for his reaction.

    Maddon using it as a learning experence fine… he didn’t rip the guy, it’s a good example to use, welcome to the world of corrective criticism from YOUR manager.

  12. The Rays are making too much of this. Aren’t the FANS paying you?

  13. Glenn says:

    I think it is all stupid. As a fan that pays that much for his seat should be able to get a ball as long as it’s not reaching over into the field of play. That person that caught the ball spent so much money on food, drinks and other stuff, he diserves something, and it just happened to be his lucky day. I hope he goes again and catches another ball from the same spot.

  14. Eric B says:

    This is why Tampa is still a 3rd rate franchise. I can Mayyyyyybe understand Longoria, but you can tell he was acting as if the fan was the reason why he didn’t make the catch. As you can see in the replay he wasn’t going to. However, I expected more from Madden, especially after the game when he should have been able to put a check on his emotions.

    Well this brings the Tampa fan count to 10,076 less 2. Not the direction a team wants to be going in.

    • Joe D. says:

      Where the heck do you come up with some arbitrary number of 10,076? then your less 2? How do you figure that Tampa Bay is 3rd Rate?

      I was at the game it wasn’t a sell out but it’s packed house. But, how many kids do you think may have been at this Sunday afternoon game, and will forever remember watching CC steal 6 bases, and are for ever a Crawford fan, and will root for the Rays now? You don’t thing that there may have even been a kid whose parents decked him out in Red Sox gear, then saw Ellsbury get thown out at second than, watch CC run wild, who may now be a Rays fan?

      Yesterday would be one of the last games I’d consider to be a game the Rays LOST fans because of.

      3rd Rate to who? The Yankees, that charge their fans 2.5K for first row seats? spend $200MM on pay roll, and still finished 3rd place? Red Sox that we beat in ALCS? The Phillies, whose fans throw batteries at JD Drew?

      • You’re an idiot Joe. D. Here’s why:

        1. Seriously, it was not a packed house. Not even close.
        2. No fan of any age is going to change their allegiance because he saw a guy steal 6 bases in a game (kudos to Crawford however).
        3. 3rd rate cause Tropicana field is in horrible condition for the 11th consecutive year.

        • Joe D. says:

          1. Attendance was over 32k that’s some where in the neighborhood of 87% capacity, I call that a packed house, not a sell out, but packed.

          2. I know if I was a kid and went to a game saw an MLB record set before my very eyes, that would have left a big impression on me. In fact, as an adult, I WAS at the game and it still was one of the coolest thing I’ve seen.

          3. I don’t know when you’ve last been to the Trop, but it’s not bad place to see a game. It’s clean, there are good sight lines, plenty of restrooms, plenty of vendors, a nice large team store, it’s a fairly easy stadium to navigate, I really don’t know what else you could ask for in a stadium. Open air stadium? I know that was only May 2nd, a day game and I don’t think that I would have wanted to be outside for that game. Not even sure that I would have wanted to be sitting under the “sails” of the proposed stadium. So, that’s it 3rd rate team because of a stadium that isn’t as bad as people make it out to be?

  15. bobrittner says:

    Ok, now I saw the replay of the game and the criticisms of Longoria and Maddon are ridiculous. Longoria initially was angry and said something to the fan who was obviously upset the moment he realized what he had done, and then Longoria never looked at him again. As he walked away he continued to say something, but not at the fan. It doesn’t matter the situation, playoff game or not, it is a game the Rays wanted to win and the win was jeopardized so Longoria reacted, but entirely within the bounds of acceptable response.

    As for Maddon, not only did he say nothing wrong afterwards, but everything he said was perfectly correct and appropriate. He hailed the fans and called on them to do the right thing in that situation. Sure he could have said nothing, but he has every right to address the issue on his own, especially in such a reasonable tone and manner.

    As I said, I don’t blame the fan either nor do I think others should get on him, but I bet he does blame himself which is just fine. If you are a Rays fan and think you have a right to any ball near you regardless, fine, that is your privilege. But at the same time you should understand that more rabid fans who are more concerned with the game’s outcome than how much you paid for your seats are legitimately peeved when you don’t help the team.

    And if there is anything that makes me nauseous it is the tired cliche about fans paying player salaries, which apart from being even less than a half truth is entirely irrelevant to any discussion and purely a maudlin cliche to satisfy the fan’s resentments and churlishness.

    • Scot says:

      Bob, I’ll second your comments. (Especially about uneducated fans not understanding how baseball revenue works.)

      With the significant increase in the number of comments, I wonder if the Prof can instigate a “comment ratings” system so that constructive posts are rewarded and inaccurate/stupid comments are ridiculed.

  16. JIM M says:

    The actions of both Longoria and Percival are deplorable. You would think that the manager is older and wiser but he is sticking up for his players actions and giving etiquette lessons to fans. What etiquette did Percival show at the end of the game when he pointed his glove towards the fan and mouthed the word ahole? Not too long ago Longoria could have made that catch with ease because those seats would have been empty in the ninth inning, something that Longoria and the organization has forgotten. Wonder if that guy/group are season ticket holders that were treated that way by Longoria/Percival.

  17. RogerD says:

    Nobody seems to have noticed, there was a kid with the offending fan who got to experience the poor sportsmanship and foul language. That’s not something I would be in a hurry to bring my kids back to.

  18. Keller says:

    …I know this FAN, he had his 6 year old sitting next to him and reacted to the ball coming at him. He didn’t see Longoria till it was too late. He was in the thrid row for crying out loud, he didn’t reach into the field of play like Bartman did and by the way, he feels horrible…

    As an FYI, Percival did lay into him with words that shouldn’t be directed at the Father of a 6 year old sitting next to him.

  19. dodger fan says:

    THEY DONT HAVE THAT TYPE OF FAN BASE WHY WOULD THE TEAM TALK CRAP ABOUT THEIR OWN FANS ? HOW DUM CAN THEY BE?

  20. John Cowan says:

    I’m sorry but Longoria and his manager are just dead wrong. While the players are there to collect their paychecks the fans, me included, are there to be entertained and that includes the chance to catch a ball. I am a Ray’s fan and want to see them do well as much as anyone else. But I don’t care if it’s the first game of pre-season or the seventh game of the World Series, once the ball crosses the plane of the stands it belongs to the fans. In this case, Longoria was interfering with the fan’s chance to catch the ball. That is baseball at it’s finest and Longoria’s tantrum was baseball at its worst. Besides, he was mostly mad because he was going to have to put in a few more minutes at the office. Wha, wha, wha.

  21. bobrittner says:

    What a bunch of sanctimonious prigs! A ballplayer gets excited and reacts and a manager makes entirely innocuous comments to mollify everyone and people harp on phony concerns about children (always the concern of scoundrels) and the lack of country club sportsmanship. Poor babies. And the empty threats about fans not coming back are laughable.

    • Scot says:

      <>

      This reminds me about the fact that unlike the media, fans do NOT care about the steroids issue. They continue to show up in record number and MLB continues to attract record revenue. It is only the media that will really care if ARod took steroids in high school or not.

      Of course the media love to talk about how it has impacted records, when a more rigorous analysis shows there has been little effect on batting performance.

  22. James says:

    I bet you that fan knows that proper etiquette is to NOT put Brian Shouse in the game with the bases loaded and a right-handed batter at the plate

  23. JoJo says:

    No one seems to note that the fan is looking up at the fly ball, not checking to see if Longo is coming to make the catch. If I’m sitting in a foul ball zone, I keep my eyes on the ball. I’ve seen a guy two seats over from me take a screaming line drive in the chest. Of course, his wife was so excited to pick up the ball, she didn’t notice her husband turning blue. Oh well!

    Also, Rays fans, coming from an Angels fan, you’d better get used to Percy keeping you on the edge of your seats. But he will save more often than not, and he will be a huge benefit as a unshakeable veteran to your young pitchers. have a great season!

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