KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Major League Baseball officials are investigating Sunday's incident and accusations between Rays LHP David Price and umpire Tom Hallion, and it's possible both — as well as some of Price's teammates — could be disciplined.
MLB vice president Joe Torre and other officials began the process that can include reviews of video, transcripts, reports and media coverage in determining what, if any, action to take.
Price claimed that when he walked off the field after the seventh inning, Hallion — unprovoked — yelled at him "to throw the ball over the f-ing plate." Hallion admitted addressing Price but was adamant that he didn't curse and called Price "a liar" for saying he did.
Hallion, a crew chief with 20-plus years experience, could be in trouble on two fronts: For initiating the confrontation, which MLB discourages; and for using the language Price said he did. Worth noting is that discipline against umpires is not routinely announced.
Price insisted, even after hearing Hallion's denial, that he was cursed at, and he had the support of a number of teammates, including Jeremy Hellickson, who ended up being ejected.
Price, Hellickson and Matt Moore, the team player rep, all took to Twitter to comment on Hallion's denial, and that could get them fined under MLB's social media policy, which specifies that players may not display or transmit "content that questions the impartiality of or otherwise denigrates a Major League umpire."
Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey said on 620-AM radio Monday that "the whole entire bench heard (Hallion) use that word" and for him to say he didn't "I think the whole entire bench would disagree."
GREAT SCOTT: DH Luke Scott was in Kansas City on Monday and will be activated off the DL for tonight's game, with Shelley Duncan expected to be let go to make room.
Scott has been out since straining his right calf in late March and went 4-for-18 in five rehab games for advanced Class A Charlotte. Duncan, who hit .182 in 20 games, is out of options, so the Rays will have to risk losing him on waivers.
OH, HIM: RHP Alex Cobb is okay with being the other starter tonight given the hype of the Rays' first game against James Shields, especially since he wants to model himself after Shields in terms of aggressiveness and competitiveness. "If you can have that reputation that he has," Cobb said, "that's an awesome thing to have."
TRUE HONOR: Price said he will be honored to visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum today to receive his Wilber "Bullet" Rogan award as the AL's top 2012 pitcher, and to present a $5,000 donation from the Rays — "a very standup move by a very class organization."
MISCELLANY: The Rays are hopeful SS Yunel Escobar, out since leaving Wednesday's game with tightness in his right hamstring, can return tonight. … C Jose Molina, who left Saturday's game after being hit by a pitch, is expected back. … With homers in their past 14 games, the Rays tonight could tie the team record, set in 2009.