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Maddon now says of Escobar: "He did nothing wrong"

Yunel Escobar celebrates his two-run home run in the ninth inning of Monday's game in Toronto.

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Yunel Escobar celebrates his two-run home run in the ninth inning of Monday's game in Toronto.

UPDATE, 6:23: Speaking briefly with reporters in English and Spanish, Escobar said he didn't understand why this was such a big deal since he had made a similar gesture after other home runs and no one said anything about it. As he talked, and MLB Network segment on the issue played on the clubhouse TVs, and players turned down the music to listen.

UPDATE, 6:18: Here is more from Maddon on the Escobar matter:

  * On talking to Escobar about it: "I didn't say I wasn't too pleased, I just said I would talk to him about it. I'm really pleased with the way he's been playing. I really love his animation. I love his verve for the game, his work. He's a wonderful teammate within our group. Part of it, everytime, it seems, a lot of times a good player comes back to Toronto they get booed here, even though they had played well here in the past and given this hometown some really good effort, regardless of that I've been around some players with the Rays that have played here in the past and were booed and I don't quite understand that sometmes. I thought Yunel did a great job yesterday in the game, I loved his home run. and I'm never going to attempt to subtract from his celebratory manner."

  * Asked about saying Escobar would't be doing that again, Maddon said: "I did not say that. .. He does do that, what I found out, quite often after home runs. Some people point to the sky, he shows a safe sign. It's one of those things that people are going to - perception - they're going to interpret according to their own prejudices or thoughts or judgmental opinions. For me I love the way he is. I want him to remain the way he is. He did nothing wrong.

   * On Escobar overall:  "Yep, hes good. I have no qualms or hesitations about how he's been and how he's playing for us. I liked the way he answered the crowd with the home run, quite frankly. ... There was no disrespect there.

   * And on the gesture again:  "He did nothing wrong. People that want to say that he did, that's a fabrication on somebody's part based on your own personal judgements, period. He did nothing wrong yesterday.''

DEVELOPING: Rays manager Joe Maddon said after further review and a conversation with SS Yunel Escobar, he had not problems with the gesture Escobar made after hitting a home run Monday, slashing his arms in an exaggerated safe signal.

"He did nothing wrong,'' Maddon said.

Further, Maddon questioned why Toronto fans so often boo former players upon their return to Rogers Centre.

Maddon said Escobar told him he makes a similar gesture after all his home runs and though it may not be quite as pronounced as it was Monday, Maddon said that was good enough for him.


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 6:25pm]


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