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For starters, Rays at Red Sox

29

June

Update 8:19: Upton apparently addressed his teammates in the clubhouse before Tuesday's game....no details given yet.  

Update 5:58: Upton echoed Maddon's sentiments, agreeing they had some good conversations and "came to an agreement;' he said he's ready to move on and contribute off the bench tonight if needed.

"He said he plans on using me," Upton said. "I'll be ready to go, no big deal."

Upton wouldn't get into specifics on the discussions with Maddon. "Just cleared the air. We both came to an agreement and we'll just move on."

Said Maddon: “I had some wonderful conversations with him, very frank.  I just wanted to share with him some of my past experiences as a young man and as a manager today. He’s a wonderful young man. That’s one of the things I don’t want to get lost in all of this. B.J. is really, really one of my favorite people. This guy is a good guy. Sometimes it’s interpreted the other way. Not a malicious bone in his body. A wonderful young man. We talked things through and everything’s fine. … It was one of those moments. We talked about it. I think we fixed it, and now it’s time to move on.”

Not surprisingly, Maddon tried to channel the much publicized incident into a positive light.

“From my perspective it’s important to channel something like this in the right way,” Maddon said. “You’re always going to arrive at different moments. I don’t care if it’s you’re personal life, you’re professional life. Many times it will be a negative moment, but in some way you have to challenge that negative into something positive, and that’s what we’re attempting to do right now. I’m taking this, I’m looking at this situation, it’s very publicized as it normally is, and we’re going to make it into something positive. Tonight’s the first night. Again, you have to sometimes the positive turnaround, something good that’s going to happen, is definitely disguise in weird clothing at times.”

Update 5:26: Manager Joe Maddon said Upton was not benched, that him being out of the lineup today had nothing to do with him not hustling for a ball in left center Sunday.

Maddon said he wanted to get Upton another day off, and said he could pinch hit, and possibly back in lineup tommorrow.

Maddon had several "frank" conversations with Upton and said he handled it well and considers the matter over. He called Upton a "wonderful" young man and said this could turn into a positive.

Upton has been unavailable so far.

Crawford said he played catch today and hit, with his shoulder feeling a lot better. He said the only true test will be playing outfield in a game.

Maddon said Kapler is really, really close to being activated, as early as tommorrow.

Update 4:20: Carl Crawford has returned to the lineup Tuesday and will play leftfield, a sign his sore left shoulder made significant progress.

However, B.J. Upton is not playing, out of the lineup just two days after manager Joe Maddon felt he didn't run as hard as he should have for a ball in left center. We'll find out the extent of disicplinary action, if any, when Maddon talks in a half hour or so.

There's no sign of Gabe Kapler, so he may not be ready to be activated until tommorrow.

Rays lineup
Jaso c
Crawford lf
Longoria 3b
Pena 1b
Zobrist cf
Joyce dh
Rodriguez rf
Brignac 2b
Bartlett ss
Shields rhp

The Rays are here at Fenway Park, ready to open a two-game series with the banged-up Red Sox, hoping their struggling offense finally awakens.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rays seven hits against the Diamondbacks were the fewest by a major league team for a 3-game series in 45 years – since the Mets mustered just 7, losing 2/3 to the Milwaukee Braves at Shea Stadium in September 1965.

The Rays, having lost eight of their last 11, are now three games behind the Yankees in the American League East, and face a Red Sox team that, despite injuries, has been playing good baseball. They're short-handed this series, as Dustin Pedroia is on the disabled list, and Victor Martinez could join him as well.

*There should be some news pre-game, with the potential activation of OF Gabe Kapler from the disabled list. Kapler, who had a right hip flexor strain, went 0-for-4 with Class-A Charlotte Monday night, hitting .077 in four rehab games. If he returns, there would be an interesting decision on who is the odd man out (Reid Brignac was on the field doing early bunting drills, but Hank Blalock is another possibility).

*It'll be interesting to see what action - if any - manager Joe Maddon takes following B.J. Upton not hustling to a ball in left-center Sunday, an incident that led Evan Longoria to confront him in the dugout. The two players say the incident is over and buried, but Maddon could also do something about it.

*There was a 60-40 chance LF Carl Crawford could return to the lineup as DH, as he continues to work his way back from left shoulder soreness that has bothered him since Wednesday.

We'll keep you posted with lineups, etc...

[Last modified: Thursday, July 29, 2010 12:15am]

    

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