Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)


Rays give Crawford 'much-needed' rest

OAKLAND, Calif. — Not that you could tell by watching him play, but LF Carl Crawford needed a break.

As the only Ray to play in each of the first 46 games, Crawford was eager for a day off, and he and manager Joe Maddon worked it out so he'd get two, sitting out Wednesday's matinee and having today's scheduled off-day.

"Much-needed," Crawford said.

Though he had a hit in each of the first five games of the road trip, he was just 9-for-40 (.225) over his past nine games, dropping his average, which was .300 as late as April 27, to .276. Perhaps more telling, he hadn't stolen a base in that span (and only tried once).

"He's such a hard runner, and Carl's really intense about the game," Maddon said. "He expends a lot of energy every day, and I'm good with it. I want to make sure he's fresh at the end of the season."

Maddon thinks that by giving Crawford the back-to-back days off he should come back even stronger, as he has in previous seasons under similar arrangements.

"I remember last year when we did that, he went from .280 to .325 in like two weeks," Maddon said. "So we'll give him the two days off, get him off his feet. I know historically he's really responded well to the two days."

Said Crawford: "I hope that that's the case, I hope I continue that streak, but I wasn't thinking about that. I just really needed a day off, to be honest with you."

PERCY OKAY: Closer Troy Percival wasn't available Wednesday after feeling tightness in his left hamstring during Tuesday's ninth inning, but he and Maddon say it won't be a problem.

"I'm anticipating that Friday he should be fine," Maddon said.

HOME BOY: Jonny Gomes always enjoys coming back to Oakland, as dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of friends and relatives make the hour-or-so trek from his Petaluma hometown. Wednesday he gave them something to remember, his first homer in 10 games at the Coliseum. "It was good to do it in front of the hometown," he said. "Those guys haven't seen me hit a home run since high school."

NOT-SO-MINOR MATTER: Fifty weeks, extended contract negotiations and an elbow muscle strain after the Rays made him the No. 1 pick in the draft, LHP David Price makes his pro debut tonight for Class A Vero Beach.

Price, who spent the past month pitching in extended spring training games, said he doesn't consider it that big a deal.

"I don't think going to the mound (tonight) is going to be any different than going to the mound in extended spring. I'm going to take the same approach there as I would anywhere else," he said.

His goals for the remainder of the season are similarly simple.

"I want to pitch well," he said. "It doesn't matter where it is, whether it's here or in the big leagues, it doesn't matter. I just want to throw well."

MORE TO COME: As good as LHP Scott Kazmir was in Tuesday's 3-2 win, striking out eight over seven innings, he said he could do even better as he further refines his mechanics.

And as impressed as Maddon was, he agreed: "He's going to get to the point where you're going to see the 95 a lot and you're going to see the nasty slider (get) bad swings."

MISCELLANY: Reliever Scott Dohmann, designated for assignment last week, cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Durham. … INF Willy Aybar went 2-for-5 and played second base in a rehab game for Vero. … 2B Akinori Iwamura has hits in six straight games and 17 of his past 18. … Maddon said the official scorer's decision to give Dioner Navarro a double (and three RBIs) when Oakland LF Emil Brown admitted he lost the ball in the lights Tuesday was "the appropriate thing to do."

Staff writer John Romano contributed to this report.

Rays give Crawford 'much-needed' rest 05/21/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 10:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays hoping RHP Romo can regain form, help bullpen



    Sergio Romo celebrates striking out Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers to win Game Four of the Major League Baseball World Series at Comerica Park in 2012.
  2. New Bucs player murals go up at Raymond James Stadium


    Each summer, it's a sign that training camp is soon to arrive at One Buc Place: the changing of the huge player murals on each corner of Raymond James Stadium.

    Bucs receivers DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans share a mural on the southeast corner of Raymond James Stadium.
  3. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)


    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Jordan Spieth, right, comes from one back of Matt Kuchar, left, after 13, going birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie-par to win by 3.
  4. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  5. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.