Saturday, March 15, 2008

Kazmir to miss Opening Day start. Hank Steinbrenner speaks about Rays

The Rays announced today that Ace Scott Kazmir will miss his opening day start. Kazmir was also pulled from tomorrow's start against the Tigers. Joe Maddon said the move was designed to give Kazmir more time to build arm strength and is not because of a set back in the rehab process, or another injury. Kazmir could make his spring debut as early as Tuesday. Carl Crawford was also held out of todays split squad games today with leg tightness. Joe Maddon quotes fromthe heater:

Rays manager Joe Maddon insisted Kazmir was "fine" and there was "nothing wrong with him,'' but said the Rays wanted to give him time to "build up more arm strength.''

On CC:

"C.C. just came up a little bit tight today,'' Maddon said. "I just think the field was kind of wet (Friday) and sometimes when you run on soft ground that can happen. So his legs were a little bit tight today and we said "No"

Maddon said if it was a regular season game CC would've played. With an off day the Rays may hold CC out of the lineup on Sunday as well to give him three straight days of rest.

Hank Steinbrenner also weighed in on the current Rays/Yankees fued saying:

"The Yankees are my team, but the Rays are in my hometown, and hopefully it won’t become a problem,” he said. “I saw the replay of the play at the plate where our catcher got hurt, and that guy just lowered his shoulder and hit him — that wasn’t a normal collision at the plate. But now it should be done with, that’s all. They got in their shot and we got in our shot, and it’s over as far as I’m concerned.”

Steinbrenner also said: “Hopefully, everything dies down with the Rays. But nobody likes the Yankees anyway, and you just can’t continue to allow other teams to take advantage, and Joe’s certainly going to see to that. He’s got his players’ back, and I’ve got his back.”

Then Hank went on to say:

"I don't want these teams in general to forget who subsidizes a lot of them, and it's the Yankees, the Red Sox, Dodgers, Mets," he said. "I would prefer if teams want to target the Yankees that they at least start giving some of that revenue sharing and luxury tax money back. From an owners point of view, that's my point.
"Nobody likes the brawl-type garbage, it doesn't belong in sports. And I don't want to see anyone injured in a brawl."

And Finally Rays Owner Stu Sternberg replied with:

"Off the field, we are partners in trying to strengthen and grow the game of baseball. On the field, we expect our teams will compete with energy and passion, and none of us - whether as an owner, a player or a fan - would want it any other way.''

The whole situation is getting a little ridiculous with Steinbrenner implying the Rays owe the Yankees and there for should take it easy on the field. Hopefully Hank was right about one thing and that episode is close to being over.