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Tampa Bay Rays' Carl Crawford upset when umpire tells him to move into batter's box

ARLINGTON, Texas — LF Carl Crawford didn't need home-plate umpire Bill Miller to draw a line in the sand to get the message. More of an issue was the timing.

Crawford was upset that Miller interrupted his third-inning at-bat to illustrate that he was out of the batter's box, which led to something of a heated discussion.

"I've been going through it a lot this year and I don't have a problem with it, but one, two pitches into the at-bat and now you're going to tell me where to stand? It just gets kind of frustrating," Crawford said.

"If you already had it in your mind you're going to tell me where to stand, then just tell me before."

Rays manager Joe Maddon quickly got involved, first making sure Crawford didn't get ejected, then making much the same case that to bring it up during the at-bat was "kind of disturbing." Crawford ended up striking out to end the inning.

"(Miller) is very much a stickler on that particular rule," Maddon said. "I said okay, I wanted to make sure if the next time up he had a problem, tell Carl prior to the at-bat opposed to during."

Crawford sets up with his left foot as far back as possible, and with the line literally blurred once the game is under way, usually there are no issues. (The rule, according to Maddon, is that "any part of your foot needs to be able to touch that back chalk line," even a toe.)

But with Crawford involved in a major-league-leading six catcher's interference calls, there has been additional high-profile scrutiny. The issue also came up during the Rays' late September series in New York.

C Bengie Molina said the Rangers didn't complain Sunday, and Miller claimed he wasn't responding to a complaint or order. Crawford wasn't buying it.

"He said he was just watching my back foot," Crawford said. "But I'm pretty sure somebody said something somewhere because how are you going to just pick me out to say my foot is on the line?"

LOOKING AHEAD: As easily as LHP Cliff Lee tore through the Rays' right-handed lineup in the opener, Maddon said he's considering using at least some of the lefty hitters on Tuesday. Those options would include C John Jaso over Kelly Shoppach, DH Dan Johnson over Willy Aybar and RF Matt Joyce over Desmond Jennings or Sean Rodriguez (who'd play second with Ben Zobrist in right). "Lefties can get him a little bit," Maddon said. "I'm debating some things."

GOING LONGO: With two doubles and a home run, 3B Evan Longoria became the first player to have three extra-base hits in an ALDS game since the Yankees' Derek Jeter in 2006. The Dodgers' Andre Ethier did it in an NLDS game last year. No other player has done so in the postseason this year. … Longoria also tied B.J. Upton for the team mark with seven career postseason home runs.

DOUBLED UP: Crawford's first-inning double play was kind of a big deal. He'd grounded into only two double plays all season in 663 plate appearances and was the hardest player in the majors to double up.

MISCELLANY: Neither team will workout today at the Trop. The Rays returned home after the game, the Rangers are coming in today. … Tuesday's game time was moved to 8:07 since the Yankees-Twins series ended. … Maddon brought out the lineup card for a second straight day. … The Rays have held Rangers MVP candidate Josh Hamilton to two singles in 14 at-bats and no RBIs.

fast facts

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Tickets to Tuesday's Game 5 are available online at, and starting at 9 a.m. today also will be sold at the Tropicana Field box office, the team Tampa store and through Ticketmaster outlets starting Monday at 9 a.m. The game is expected to sell out.

Tampa Bay Rays' Carl Crawford upset when umpire tells him to move into batter's box 10/10/10 [Last modified: Monday, October 11, 2010 7:51am]
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