Friday, April 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Joe Maddon upset over new interpretation of old rule

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rays manager Joe Maddon took issue Tuesday with a new interpretation of a rule on plays at second base, saying a change has to be made.

"The rule is wrong,'' he said.

Umpires called the Royals' Alcides Escobar safe on what looked to be a forceout when 2B Ben Zobrist dropped the ball as he attempted to make a throw to first for an attempt at a double play. Maddon went out for a long discussion then used a replay challenge to get the played reviewed in New York, but the call was upheld.

Maddon's contention was that while the umpires are making a concerted effort to call runners safe when the ball is dropped by an infielder transferring the ball from glove to bare hand as he touches the base, Zobrist was engaged in separate maneuvers, having already made the catch and touched the base. Plus, Zobrist got an error.

"He was absolutely out,'' Maddon said. "Part of it is that everything is slowed down, there is instant replay, it is slow. You could easily discern that Zo had the ball in his glove with his foot on the bag and the runner is out, period. So as we move this forward there had to be a differentiation between that and the two-handed transfer. … I do believe that has to be revisited.''

GOOD MEMORIES: You always remember your first one, and for Jake Odorizzi it happened right here at Kauffman Stadium, where he took the mound as a 22-year-old on a Sunday afternoon in September 2012 for the first time as a major-leaguer.

Odorizzi will be back on that mound this afternoon, pitching against the Royals for the Rays, having been traded a few months later with OF Wil Myers in the deal for RHP James Shields.

"Anytime you make your debut, it's going to be special regardless of where it's at, and going back to wherever it is you're going to have those type of memories," Odorizzi said. "I have good memories of pitching here, and will probably make some more good ones" today.

Odorizzi pitched once at Kauffman before his debut, starting the 2012 All-Star Futures Game.

Odorizzi said facing the Royals in a relief outing at the Trop last June desensitized him from feeling anything special about his ex-mates.

BELL RELIEVED: RHP Heath Bell said he felt better after hearing that Royals 2B Omar Infante sustained only a cut on his face and sprained jaw after Bell hit him in the face with a pitch Monday. "I'm relieved," Bell said. "Prayers went out, and I feel like my prayers from the mound and after the game did him some good."

MISCELLANY: David DeJesus started in leftfield, his first outfield appearance since fouling a ball off his foot in the March 31 opener. … The Reds changed their rotation, again, for the weekend series against the Rays, now starting RHP Johnny Cueto on Friday, RHP Alfredo Simon on Saturday and LHP Tony Cingrani on Sunday. … First-pitch temperature Tuesday was 59 degrees.

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