Aki's bat confiscated
NEW YORK -- Umpires confiscated Rays 3B Akinori Iwamura's bat in the second inning of today game against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. It appears his bat will be inspected to see whether it meets MLB specifications.
Today is the 14th game between the Rays and the Yankees, and Iwamura's used the same bat all season, but during Iwamura's second at bat today Yankees manager Joe Torre went to umpires and had the bat confiscated. Iwamura's bat is different in that it has a flat barrel instead of being rounded off.
In Section 1.10 of the MLB rule book, which talks about bat specifications, nothing says a flat-ended barrel is illegal.
It's the second time umpires inspected Iwamura's bat. It also happened in a game in Arizona June 18, but the umpires decided there was nothing wrong with it.
The word from the Rays clubhouse is that Tampa Bay players and field staff are fired up about what they perceive as a gamesmanship move by the Yankees. At the time Iwamura's bat was taken, the Rays had just tied the game 2-2 and Iwamura had a 2-2 count. After a lengthy delay, Iwamura stepped back into the batter's box -- with a different bat -- and struck out on the next pitch.
The next inning, Rays manager Joe Maddon requested Alex Rodriguez's bat be confiscated, and it was, but Rodriguez singled to left on the next pitch in the Yankees' two-run third.
Both bats are currently in the umpire's room.