Escobar's home run reaction concerns Maddon
After being booed throughout the afternoon in his first game back in Toronto, Rays SS Yunel Escobar got his say with a two-out homer in the ninth inning.
But Escobar may have gone too far when, after a slow trot around the bases, he slashed his arms - in an exaggerated "safe" gesture - as he crossed home plate.
Rays manager Joe Maddon didn't like it - and said he would talk to Escobar to make sure it didn't happen again.
"I'm sure that was an emotional moment for him,'' Maddon said. "The booing probably promoted the reaction that he had and I'm going to talk to him about that tomorrow. I loved the fact that he competed like he did. We've been talking about how well he's been doing. He's been doing great. I love him on this team, I love him in the clubhouse, I love everything about this young man. But I still want to talk to him about the reaction after the home run. And I'm certain you're not going to see that again.'
Escobar said, however, the gesture was not special for today and he has done it before.
"What I do at home plate I always do every time I hit a homer,'' he said, with Joel Peralta translating. "I don't want it to be something more than that. It's something that I do everytime I cross home plate.''
Escobar - who admitted he was surprised at the booing - said he plans to tell Maddon as much.
"I'm going to explain to him that I do that every time,'' he said, through Peralta. "I'll be here to talk to him about it. I just care about the team winning games.''
Jays pitcher Casey Janssen said he didn't take the gesture personally.
"I don't think it was directed at me,'' he said. "We were good teammates, I had no problem with him, he had no problem with me. I did hear the chorus of boos and I'm sure he was a little frustrated at times. He's an emotional guy, he's a prideful guy. It was his moment to shine and he did his thing.''
And he didn't think Escobar meant much to offend his ex-mates.
"He's got quite a few buddies on this team still and it's definitely not the last time we're going to play them,'' Janssen said, "so I don't think you want to burn bridges like that."