Maddon: "Really wrong," "inappropriate" for Howell to be booed; "absolutely insane" to put all blame on him
Rays manager Joe Maddon defended reliever J.P. Howell and said it was "really wrong" and "inappropriate" for him to be booed by the fans.
And also, in response to criticism of Howell, Maddon said: "To lay all of that on J.P. yesterday is absolutely insane as far as I'm concerned.''
Howell gave up a two-run single to Josh Hamilton in the seventh inning that proved to be the difference in Monday's game.
Maddon said he will seek out Howell this morning to check on him given how hard he took the loss and then decide whether he would use him in a similar situation again.
As for the fans booing Howell, Maddon said: "It's really wrong. It's wrong. I don't understand why the folks would have gone there on him yesterday. It's inapppropriate. Here's a guy that was a big part of our World Series run, is coming off of a severe injury and has done some really good work this year.''
Maddon also said Monday's loss should not be blamed on Howell, that it was much about Brandon Gomes walking the two batters and the Rays allowing stolen bases ahead of Hamilton's at-bat, and of the Rays wasting opportunities to score.
"It's not just about J.P. by any means yesterday,'' Maddon said.