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Double play angers Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays fans

ST. PETERSBURG — Plate umpire Kerwin Danley drew the ire of Rays fans Wednesday, getting booed during the final two innings after a strikeout by LF Carl Crawford in the seventh turned into a double play.

With one out and 2B Reid Brignac on first, Crawford appeared to check his swing on a 3-and-2 pitch from Orioles RHP Jeremy Guthrie. Crawford said that when Danley didn't say anything and third-base umpire Dana DeMuth didn't move, he started to trot to first. Brignac began to trot to second.

But when Danley made a late call of a strike, C Matt Wieters threw out Brignac at second and Crawford threw his helmet down. Though replays appeared to indicate Crawford didn't swing, it served as no solace to him.

"That was a terrible call," Crawford said. "I didn't think I went at all. (Wieters) said 'Check,' pointed to the third-base umpire, and the umpire just sat there. When they do that, it's ball four."

Manager Joe Maddon came out to seek an explanation, but with the Rays up just one run, he didn't want to get ejected.

"Obviously, I'm not annoyed right now because we won the game," Maddon said.

"You'd be more easily annoyed had you lost that game because there was a lot of points to be had right there that we missed out on."

high praise; To Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, the Rays team Baltimore is trying to beat also is one it would like to emulate.

MacPhail saw how Tampa Bay developed talent and focused on areas of run prevention to get in the American League East mix despite a low payroll.

"(The Rays) provide a great road map for us to follow," MacPhail said. "They really improved their pitching and defense, and that catapulted them from 90-something losses to the World Series."

MONEY: The Rays are 28th among the 30 teams in Forbes magazine's annual value rankings (see chart below) at $316 million, down from 26th and $320 million, but have the 16th-highest operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) at $15.7 million. The magazine estimates Rays revenues at $156 million, which is 26th. Team officials typically discount the findings because they don't provide data. Rays officials said they lost money last season and expect to do so again this year.

MINOR MATTERS: Several Rays minor-league affiliates begin play today, with starters: RH Jeremy Hellickson for Triple-A Durham, LH Alex Torres for Double-A Montgomery, LH Matt Moore for Class A Charlotte and RH Alex Colome for Class A Bowling Green. The Durham rotation also includes LH Heath Phillips, RH Jeff Bennett, RH Virgil Vasquez and LH Carlos Hernandez.

MISCELLANY: RHP James Shields was with his wife, Ryane, as doctors induced labor for the couple's second daughter. … OF Matt Joyce (elbow strain) begins a rehabilitation assignment with Durham today. … Gabe Kapler will start tonight in rightfield. … Brignac, Kapler, manager Joe Maddon and LHP David Price will attend the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce "Welcome Home" luncheon at 11:45 a.m. today at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. Tickets are available at tampachamber.com.

Double play angers Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays fans 04/07/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 8, 2010 11:00am]

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