Penny says he didn't yell at Rodriguez for hustling, rather for "cussing"
There's been some more explanation in the Tigers RHP Brad Penny-Rays SS Sean Rodriguez saga from Tuesday night's game. Though it was thought by the Rays that Penny was yelling at Rodriguez for hustling too much on an infield pop out Tuesday night, the Tigers righthander said that's not the case. Penny said his issue was Rodriguez using inappropriate language, "screaming and cussing" in frustration as he rounded the bases.
"To me, that's a sign of disrespect if you're screaming that loud," Penny said. "All these kids can hear you, it's not too loud in here. So to me, that's not really professional."
After Wednesday night's game, when Rodriguez's hustle played a big role in the Rays win (beating a throw to second to allow the game-winning run to score) Maddon took issue with the thought that Penny would be barking at Rodriguez was running too hard, saying it was "absolutely ridiculous" and "insane."
But Penny said Maddon didn't know all the facts.
"Why would I get on somebody for hustling?" Penny said. "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. I love when guys hustle. I get on them for not hustling."
Rodriguez initially didn't want to talk about the situation, not wanting to make it a bigger issue than it is, but offered his own take on his language, and Penny's response.
"It's not a good image you want to be sending off, cause with TV the way it is and media the way it is, you can read lips and can see what we're saying to each other," Rodriguez said. "So it's not a good message. So in essence, I can see where he can say it's not professional. But it's hard to sit there and say something like that's unprofessional when him of all people, anybody in the big league knows, that's happened to them before where they get frustrated - everybody does. There's no need for him to come out and bark at me. He didn't have to say anything to me, whether it was unprofessional or not, it's not his place to do that, that's not the time to do that."
Both Rodriguez and Penny consider the matter over. For what it's worth, Tigers manager Jim Leyland praised Rodriguez for his hustle in Wednesday's win.
"Their guy was doing what he should have done, and give him credit, he busted his (butt), and won them a ballgame," Leyland said.
-- JOE SMITH