As promised the Yankees attempted to exact "Revenge" on the Rays for a perfectly legal play. During the bottom of the first inning today, Heath Phillips was ejected from the game for hitting Evan Longoria, the swiss army knife of five tool players. However, the fireworks didn't stop there. Shelley Duncan, who has been vocal about paying the Rays back, went sliding into second base spikes high in second inning. The ball Duncan hit was a grounder to third and Duncan was immediately ejected. Aki Iwamura wasn't hurt, but Jonny F. Gomes took offense and came running in from RF to confront Duncan. Benches cleared and after a few shoves back and forth order was restored. In all Duncan, Phillps, hitting coach Kevin Long and third base coach Bobby Meacham were ejected for the Yankees. Gomes was the only Rays player sent to the showers early. According to TBO.com, Gomes went walking off the field somewhat triumphantly and according to another account hi-fived all the players on his way out. And who said spring training didn't mean anything.
Here are some quotes from Rays Players and Joe Maddon who was none to pleased:
“The other day we were playing in Tampa, that play you saw at home plate was a good, hard baseball play,” he said. “What you saw today is the definition of a dirty play. There is no room for that in our game, it’s contemptible, it’s wrong, it’s borderline criminal, and I cannot believe they did that.”
“Dirty play,” said B.J. Upton. “Just a flat-out dirty play. Period.”
“That was sort of second nature,” Gomes said. “I was taught from T-ball all the way up to have your teammate’s back. With that guy trying to hurt a teammate, I just acted how I acted.”
Gomes did get an initial shot in on Duncan but said an all-out brawl wasn’t his goal.
“I probably could have done a lot of things worse, but it is a baseball field and there’s fans and kids watching,” said Gomes. “I just had to let him know, that’s not going to fly with me on the field.”
“You’re just going out there, spikes high, trying to put them into somebody?” said Percival. “There’s no room in baseball for that kind of stuff. Ty Cobb’s been gone a long time.”
“It’s not typical of them, that’s for sure,” said Percival. “They’ve always been a professional organization. They’ve always played hard and they’ve always played smart. I won’t say that about today’s game.”
There also was as actual game played as well. The Rays won 7-6 in case you care. Andy Sonnanstine pitched extremely well throwing three scoreless innings and seemingly has the inside track on the 4th rotation spot. Scott Dohman escaped a bit of trouble in his scoreless frame. Rays Closer Troy Percival was perfect in his inning of work. The Rays seemed to have suffered another injury when Brian Anderson, trying to comeback from an elbow injury, walked off the mound after giving up 2 hits and 3 ER without recording an out. He was replaced by Calvin Medlock who held the Yankees without giving up a run in two innings. Dan Wheeler wasn't so sharp giving up three runs in one inning. G-Love pitched a perfect 9th for the save
At the Plate Gomes contributed an RBI before his ejection as did Cliff Floyd and WIlly Aybar. Ronnie Merrill, Who? hit a solo home run. Carl Crawford, Reid Brignac and Aki Iwamura had two hits a piece. As far as races go, the OF Race went like this Jon Weber 1-4 1 RBI(.200), John Rodriguez 1-2 2 RBI(0.83) and Chris Richard 0-1(.385). On the 3B side Evan Longoria was 0-1(.368), Willy Aybar 0-1 1 RBI(.300) , Joel Guzman 0-1(.188) and Eric Hinske went 1-2(.444)
It also occured to me today that our comments were turned off to most readers. I have fixed the problem so let the comments be FREE!