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Punishment for Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Garza might be announced today

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Matt Garza said he was taking a stand by hitting Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira with a pitch Wednesday night.

Garza could find out soon if the action will cost him some games — or some cash.

Major League Baseball is reviewing the incident, as well as Garza's subsequent comments that he was retaliating for the Yankees brushing back (and hitting) Evan Longoria during the series, and could announce discipline as early as today.

During the fourth inning on Wednesday, Joba Chamberlain threw at Longoria's head and knocked him down. One inning later, Garza hit Teixeira.

While Teixeira said it didn't bother him and Chamberlain said he was just trying to be aggressive, Garza didn't hide his intentions postgame: "It's about time someone made a statement. I hate to be that guy, but someone had to take a stand and say, 'You know, we're tired of it.' You can go after our best guy. Well, we'll make some noise, too, and that's what happened."

Three pitchers have been disciplined in the past week for intentionally throwing at hitters. The Indians' Winston Abreu received a three-game suspension and undisclosed fine for throwing at the Mariners' Jack Hannahan on Saturday.

The Marlins' Burke Badenhop got the same for throwing at Orlando Hudson on Sunday. The Dodgers' Jeff Weaver was fined for throwing at Hanley Ramirez during the same game.

In Abreu's and Badenhop's cases, however, umpires had issued a warning. No warning was issued before Garza hit Teixeira.

TRADE FRONT QUIET: Rays officials will continue talking about possibilities until today's 4 p.m. deadline for nonwaiver trades, but it remains unlikely they will make a big deal.

Word Thursday was things were relatively quiet and, if anything, the Rays might be working on some smaller deals — either adding or moving a complementary-type piece.

"The final hours before the deadline often breed creative thoughts, and we expect to be in the middle of that brainstorming," executive vice president Andrew Friedman said at about 10 p.m. "Whether anything happens, major or minor, is impossible to predict.

"The only certainty is that there will continue to be more rumors and speculation than actual news."

The biggest deal to be made would be acquiring Toronto ace Roy Halladay. But Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi said in a text message there was "nothing" going with the Rays.

CATCHER ADDED: C Jose Lobaton, a 24-year-old switch-hitter with big-league experience, was claimed on waivers from the Padres and assigned to Double-A Montgomery.

Lobaton, 3-for-17 in seven games for injured Henry Blanco, was designated for assignment Monday. He hit .241 with three homers and eight RBIs in 39 games at Triple-A Portland.

The Rays added him to the 40-man roster by shifting RHP Troy Percival, out since late May, to the 60-day disabled list.

CLEANING UP: Until this season, Ben Zobrist hadn't hit cleanup since 2005 at Class A Lexington. But in five games since replacing Carlos Peña, he is 7-for-19 (.368). That hasn't surprised manager Joe Maddon.

"At-bat per at-bat, on a nightly basis, (Zobrist) works our best at-bats, period," Maddon said. "No one else works better at-bats against any pitcher from either side (of the plate)."

Punishment for Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Garza might be announced today 07/31/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 31, 2009 6:54am]
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