Rays-Red Sox, day 1
The Rays and Red Sox are preparing for game 1 of the showdown series with lots of buzz around Tropicana Field.
Players continue to say they don't expect any continued hostilities stemming from the June 5 brawl in Boston, and Rays manager Joe Maddon said he fully expects to meet pre-game with the umpires for what will amount to a warning, joking that he was "being summoned to the principal's office.''
The Rays are without 2B Akinori Iwamura for the final game of his suspension; the Red Sox are without OF Coco Crisp for all three games as he serves the rest of his suspension.
DH Cliff Floyd left the Rays on Sunday to go home to Chicago following the death of his grandmother but is expected back by gametime and will be available to pinch-hit.
The Sox said they have dealt internally with the matter involving Manny Ramirez, who pushed down the team's traveling secretary, Jack McCormick, during an incident Saturday, and Ramirez is in the lineup at DH. "The clubhouse is a family and whatever happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse,'' Ramirez said. "Me and Jack, our friendship is good.''
Also manager Terry Francona declined to discuss the reported threat against some of the Red Sox players. "I guess it's part of what we are and what we do, and I don't think they'll be anything crazy coming out of it,'' David Ortiz said.
In other news, Rays 3B Evan Longoria was named AL Player of the Week, the first Rays rookie to be so honored, and there's been no announcement yet on the status of OF Rocco Baldelli, who had been rehabbing at Class A Vero.
[Manny Ramirez stretches before batting practice. James Borchuck, Times]