Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Myers tries to get over misplay

BOSTON — Rays RF Wil Myers remained a popular subject of derision Saturday.

Several times during Game 2, Fenway Park fans again broke into a "MYYYY-ERRRSS, MYYYY-ERRRSS" chant, offering mock cheers when he was introduced over the PA system then a cheer and a standing ovation from some sections when he caught a routine fly in the fifth inning. It didn't help that he was 0-for-5 and made the final out.

Myers expected the rough treatment to continue after his misplay of a fly ball quickly turned Friday's AL Division Series opener in Boston's favor and made him the object of the Fenway fans' derisive affection.

"It was a tough play" to deal with, Myers said. "The toughest one I've had in my career."

Manager Joe Maddon said he didn't give any thought to using Myers as the DH on Saturday rather than in rightfield to shield him from the fans, confident the 22-year-old rookie wouldn't be affected. "I know he can handle it," Maddon said.

Plus, Maddon drew a comparison to former Rays LH reliever J.P. Howell, saying Myers has a certain "obliviousness" that should benefit him in this type of situation.

Friday night, however, wasn't much easier than the afternoon for Myers, as he had a hard time getting any rest.

"I'm not going to lie," he said. "I thought about it pretty much all night."

Myers said he grabbed a quick dinner with a friend near the team hotel, happy not to be hassled further.

"I was fine, nobody recognized me," he said. "I kind of kept my hat down."

He went up to his room, didn't dare turn on the TV and had a hard time shutting his eyes.

"I didn't go to sleep right away," he said. "It was something on my mind. It was tough to let something like that go."

Myers decided when he got to Fenway Park early Saturday to watch the replay for the first time, and he didn't particularly like what he saw. "It didn't look good at all, actually," he said.

It was about then that Maddon approached and told him to let it go, there was nothing he could do about it now and everyone makes mistakes. "I assured him I threw an interception once when I was in high school," Maddon said.

Maddon said he was quite proud of how Myers conducted himself with the media, repeatedly taking the blame.

"He couldn't have handled it any better by his accountability postgame," Maddon said. "I think that is a true indicator as to why he's going to be as good of a player as we think he is."

PRICE CHECK: LHP David Price will start Game 5 if the Rays extend the series, Maddon said, with LHP Matt Moore in the bullpen. … Asked after the game if he gave any thought to it being his last with the Rays, Price gave a firm "No." … The two homers he allowed to David Ortiz matched his total to lefties all season.

TARPS UP? Rays officials Saturday were considering removing the tarps that cover much of the upper deck at Tropicana Field, which would make about 7,000 more seats available for Games 3 (Monday) and 4 (Tuesday, if necessary). A decision, made in consultation with MLB officials, is expected today.

As of now, Monday's game is sold out, except for some scattered singles. Tickets remain for Tuesday via raysbaseball.com, and the team says credit cards will be refunded the full price and fees if there is no game.

MISCELLANY: 2B Ben Zobrist's postseason hitting streak ended at nine, matching B.J. Upton for the franchise best. … Maddon considered starting Matt Joyce at DH but stuck with Delmon Young, who made his eighth straight start. … The 15.5 TV rating for Friday's game was highest in the Tampa Bay market for a major-league game since Game 3 of the 2011 ALDS. At peak, 34 percent of TVs on in the Tampa Bay area were tuned in.

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