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Maddon gets, and stays, mad

August 20, 2008|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Rays Manager Joe Maddon, the former Angels bench coach, had a heated argument with first-base umpire Jerry Meals in the sixth inning Tuesday night, a dispute that led to Maddon's ninth career ejection, four coming against the Angels.

More than an hour later, after Tampa Bay had come back for a 4-2 win, Maddon was still fuming about a controversial -- and apparently missed -- call that might have cost the Rays a bigger inning.

With the Rays trailing, 2-1, Jason Bartlett broke up Angels starter Ervin Santana's no-hit bid with a one-out double to left in the sixth, and he took third on Akinori Iwamura's infield single.

B.J. Upton followed with a chopper toward first that Mark Teixeira charged and fielded between the mound and the bag.

The Angels first baseman wanted to go home, "but as soon as I reached in the glove, I got a bad grip on the ball," he said. "I didn't want to throw it away and let a couple of runs score."

Instead, Teixeira turned and threw to first, where Santana was scrambling to get to the bag and catch the throw. The ball got by the pitcher and was retrieved by second baseman Howie Kendrick, who tagged Upton about 12 feet beyond the bag.

Replays showed Upton turned toward second but didn't even lean, let alone take a step toward, second base. Meals still called Upton out -- the rule states a runner must "attempt" to run to second to be back in play -- and Maddon stormed out of the dugout.

"It's unconscionable," Maddon said afterward. "It can't happen. There's no room for that. That call can't happen. It was a fabricated call. It's in a crucial part of the game in a pennant hunt. To make something up is wrong, and then to be validated by the crew chief really got me upset."

That crew chief was Gary Darling, who backed Meals.

"He made an attempt to run to second base," Darling said of Upton. "A little jab step and a shoulder. I've called guys out for less."

Medical update

Maicer Izturis underwent surgery to reattach a ligament in his left thumb Tuesday, and the Angels shortstop is expected to make a full recovery by spring training in 2009.

Izturis injured the thumb diving to his left for a grounder Aug. 1 in Yankee Stadium and aggravated it diving to his right for a grounder last Wednesday in Angel Stadium.

Much ado about nothing

Though there were scattered showers in Tampa, Tropical Storm Fay missed the area entirely, and there were no disruptions to the Angels-Rays series, which concludes tonight in Tropicana Field.


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