Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon still taking blame about bullpen gaffe but saying little

NEW YORK — Manager Joe Maddon continued to take full blame for whatever was or wasn't said between him and pitching coach Jim Hickey resulting in the wrong reliever entering Monday's game against the Yankees.

But he wouldn't say exactly how the breakdown occurred — whether he misspoke, Hickey misheard or what happened.

"You're not going to get that," Maddon said. "Tell (people) they can't have that. But they can have my head on a bullpen platter if they choose to."

The "miscommunication" occurred in the sixth inning. Maddon thought LHP Randy Choate was warming up along with RHP Grant Balfour, but Hickey's call to bullpen coach Bobby Ramos was only for Balfour to get ready.

So when Maddon decided to take out Matt Garza and signaled for the lefty, there was no option but Balfour, who ran to the mound and was greeted by Maddon saying, "What are you doing here?"

Choate said he was available and eager to face lefty Curtis Granderson — who hit a three-run homer that was the difference in the Rays' 8-6 loss — but wasn't surprised that the call was for Balfour to warm up. Choate hadn't done well against Granderson, and he thought they might be saving him to face Robinson Cano.

But Choate was surprised a few minutes later when he was pacing in the back of the bullpen and the other relievers said Maddon had just signaled for a lefty.

"I was kinda like, 'Huh?' and I started taking my jacket off," Choate said, figuring he could get ready by throwing two pitches in the bullpen and the standard eight on the mound. But by then Balfour was on his way in.

"It was definitely strange because most times the phone rings five times, usually Hickey's looking down there in the pen to make sure two of us are warming up, to make sure what he wants," Choate said. "So it's a little surprising on that end, but mistakes happen."

Maddon said that was the first time he recalled a situation like that but didn't plan to change procedure such as calling the bullpen himself.

"I'm not a knee-jerk kind of guy," he said. "I can understand why people may be upset, and I accept full responsibility for it, but moving forward we've just got to make sure it doesn't happen again, and that's my responsibility."

To the Matt: RHP Matt Garza has complained of "September soreness" and "wear and tear of the season" while pitching poorly over his past three starts.

But he insisted Tuesday that his performance isn't the product of any injury issues.

"I'm fine," Garza said. "It's nothing. It's just the length of the season and fatigue. I'm not like I'm hurt or anything. There's no pain. Physically I'm fine; mentally I'm fine. It's just the long grind of it."

Garza said he'll be back to top form by the playoffs because adrenaline will kick in, though that didn't help in his past two high-stakes starts against the Yankees: "That's what I'm looking forward to is the postseason. I'm tired of the back-and-forth; let's just start dancing."

Miscellany: LF Carl Crawford attributes his major-league-most six catcher's interference calls to "trying to let the ball get deep" in the strike zone before swinging. … 3B Evan Longoria's 102 RBIs are eighth most in team history; Carlos Peña had a record 121 in 2007.

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon still taking blame about bullpen gaffe but saying little 09/21/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 3:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Family a driving force for University of Tampa pitcher David Lebron

    College

    TAMPA — For University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron, baseball reminds him of family. He uses it to help honor the memory of his father, who taught him the game. One day, he hopes his career can help support his mother and allow her to rest.

    University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron (Courtesy of University of Tampa)
  2. L.A. delay could re-open Super Bowl chance for Tampa in 2021

    Blogs

    Construction delays on the NFL's new stadium in Los Angeles mean the Rams and Chargers won't be playing there until 2020, a year later than expected, and the ripple effect could give Tampa another chance at landing a Super Bowl in February 2021.

    Tampa and Raymond James Stadium last hosted a Super Bowl in 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Arizona Cardinals.
  3. Bucs' Gerald McCoy, Jameis Winston honored in NFL top 100

    Blogs

    Helping fans pass time through the offseason each summer, NFL Network has been unveiling its top 100 players for 2017 as chosen by the players, and the Bucs' Gerald McCoy and Jameis Winston are the first Tampa Bay players revealed, coming in at No. 52 and 57, respectively.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis WInston and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, shown in the 2016 season finale against the Panthers, have both been named to the NFL Network's top 100 players for 2017.
  4. The play occurred in the third inning when Angels rookie Nolan Fontana, making his major league debut, tried to slide past the tag of Rays second baseman Michael Martinez.
  5. Former Gator Caleb Brantley paying a steep price for nothing

    Bucs

    It turns out Caleb Brantley isn't quite the dirtbag that millions of people presumed. It's too bad the damage to his reputation and bank account is already done.

    Caleb Brantley, who dropped to the sixth round of the draft, works out during Browns rookie minicamp. [Associated Press]