Sunday, December 10, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine talkative day after benches clear

BOSTON — Two talkative managers and the fallout from Friday's benches- and bullpen-clearing incident made for an interesting day at Fenway Park well before the first pitch was thrown Saturday.

Boston's Bobby Valentine went on the attack, using his media session to respond to Friday comments by the Rays' Joe Maddon by ripping into the Rays' coaches for their conduct.

Valentine said the Rays coaches were "really aggressive" and he "took offense to the aggressiveness of their coaches." He said they "seemed very immature and out of control" and "it was very unprofessional."

And he said, "Coaches are supposed to try to stop things from happening, and their coaches were actually aggravating and agitating and instigating."

Maddon was aware of Valentine's comments when he came into the dugout for his media session and played it coy, declining several opportunities to respond directly. He referred to his Friday comments, in which he suggested strongly that Valentine and the Sox coaches were at fault, and acknowledged his words likely led to Saturday's "return salvo"

But Maddon wasn't without a message, making a point to mention — repeatedly — how highly he thinks of Boston's players. During a 10-minute session on a variety of subjects, he mentioned that 10 times.

"The thing I'd like to cover, if I may, is how much respect I have for the Red Sox players," he said. "Been doing this now for seven or eight years in the American League East, and I have a strong feeling for the professionalism of the Red Sox players for that entire time. Guys like (David) Ortiz, (Dustin) Pedroia, (Kevin) Youkilis, (Josh) Beckett's pitching (Saturday), my respect goes out for them."

MUSIC WARS: Tired of the Red Sox cutting off the public-address-system music during their batting practice, as they have the past few years for all teams, the Rays came up with a creative solution.

CF B.J. Upton brought out a boom box, set it up near the batting cage and ran an extension cord from the dugout. About halfway through the session, the PA system came back on with music best described as "pop organ."

The Rays, it should be noted, have started giving the Red Sox the silent treatment at Tropicana Field.

ABOUT FRIDAY NIGHT: RHP Burke Badenhop said the chance he intentionally hit Pedroia in the sixth inning, bringing Ortiz to the plate as the tying run, could be best defined as "if there were something less than zero." … OF Matt Joyce's grand slam was his second in a week. The only Ray to hit slams closer together — of the 55 in franchise history — was Aubrey Huff, who did it on July 22 and 26, 2005.

LINING UP: Maddon held off on posting the lineup until checking with Luke Scott, who was still sore from being hit on the right knee Friday. … Drew Sutton made his third start at third base. Maddon seems to prefer the combination of him there and Sean Rodriguez at second over Rodriguez at third and Will Rhymes at second. … Rodriguez might start at short today, with Elliot Johnson getting a day off and Rhymes at second. … Scott is recovered enough from his offseason shoulder surgery to play first base, Maddon said. His next goal is to be available for outfield duty during the National League-rules interleague games June 8-10 and 19-24.

MEDICAL MATTERS: RHP Kyle Farnsworth threw 20 pitches off the mound at the Trop with no issues from his right elbow and is on a slow track toward a late June return. … 1B/OF Brandon Allen (quad strain) continued his rehabilitation as the DH for advanced Class A Charlotte, going 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.

MISCELLANY: OF Hideki Matsui, after a 3-for-4 game Friday, took a .189 average into play Saturday for Triple-A Durham. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and is hitting .171 (7-for-41). … Rays TV analyst Brian Anderson worked the game for the Fox national crew Saturday and will do so again at least twice more this season, June 9 and 16.

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