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Tampa Bay Rays not sure David Ortiz's slow home run trot was necessary

ST. PETERSBURG — It took Boston's David Ortiz a long time to get around the bases after his Monday night home run. And it might be a while for the Rays to get over it.

Ortiz's trot — if you can call it that — took 30.59 seconds, longest of any player this season according to the wezen-ball.com website, which features a Tater Trot Tracker.

Ortiz claimed he was slowed because umpire Tim Tschida was in his path; the Rays weren't so sure that was a factor.

"I was probably a little upset," Rays rookie starter Wade Davis said. "He's been doing it for a while. That's his thing; it's Big Papi. That's him. And I've seen him do it when (the ball) hasn't gone out, either."

Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey said he didn't think it was egregious: "He took a little longer to get out of the box than probably most would have liked, but I think his trip around the bases wasn't particularly slow."

Rays manager Joe Maddon chose to poke fun at Ortiz, saying the slow pace didn't bother him but showed, "He's not as fast as he used to be."

"He ain't fast, so it's not going to be a fast one," Rays SS Jason Bartlett said. "You know, that's him. He doesn't always do it that slow, but he's never fast. I didn't take it any way. He's not going to rub anything in anybody's face — he's a great guy and he loves playing the game."

Ortiz is slow; according to the site he has five of the six slowest trots of the season anyway. After Monday's game, he told reporters, "When I was ready to take off, the umpire got in my way; he was trying to follow the ball."

Davis said his primary form of revenge was to throw the same inside fastball to Ortiz his next time up and get him out, which he did with the bases loaded in the third, though he went on to allow three runs after that.

"You can't let him get to you," Davis said. "He's done it enough times, he's hit enough homers. That's why he's Big Papi."

ONE WAY: The Rays were held to one hit for the second time at the Trop, also by Boston (and Pedro Martinez) on Aug. 29, 2000. … The five combined hits matched the fewest in Rays history. … Neither team had a hit after the fourth .

LINING UP: DH Willy Aybar hit fifth Tuesday as Maddon plans to use Aybar and C John Jaso to fill that slot for now, with Carlos Peña — who is in a 10-for-79 slump — relegated to sixth or seventh. "Probably until Carlos really gets going again, which he is going to," Maddon said.

MEDICAL MATTERS: After getting through five innings in the outfield Monday for Class A Charlotte with no problems, Matt Joyce (right elbow strain) will progress to seven innings tonight. He may soon be moved to Double-A Montgomery. … C Kelly Shoppach (right knee surgery) has done hitting, running and catching drills, and once he gets through sliding at the end of this week he will be cleared for a rehab assignment, possibly as soon as Sunday.

MINOR MATTERS: The Rays signed a 17-year-old Australian, 3B Darryl George. … RHP Eduardo Morlan, acquired with Matt Garza and Bartlett from Minnesota, was released from Montgomery. … SS Tim Beckham has been sizzling — 13 hits in a six-game stretch — for Class A Charlotte, which plays at Dunedin Thursday-Sunday.

MISCELLANY: Maddon's fifth-inning ejection was his first of this season, 12th as manager of the Rays. Carl Crawford was ejected for the fourth time. … RHP Joaquin Benoit's streak of batters struck out ended at nine when he walked Kevin Youkilis to open the ninth. … Senior adviser Don Zimmer and special assistant Rocco Baldelli will represent the Rays at the June 7 draft in New Jersey. … A Facebook group and several web pages are dedicated to getting ex-Ray Pat Burrell elected to the AL All-Star team.

Tampa Bay Rays not sure David Ortiz's slow home run trot was necessary 05/25/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:15am]
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