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WORLD SERIES NOTES

Rays seek a bit more security

October 27, 2008|Bill Shaikin | Shaikin is a Times staff writer.

PHILADELPHIA — Tampa Bay Rays officials met with security agents at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park on Sunday, after some player families and club employees reported uncomfortable experiences in the stands at Saturday's World Series game, Rays General Manager Andrew Friedman said.

"Throwing mustard packs at my granddaughter is not very cool," Rays Manager Joe Maddon said.

As far as old-fashioned heckling goes, Maddon said, bring it on. He said he even got into it, taunting a Phillies fan seated near the Rays dugout who went for the cheap beer rather than a local beer.

"I said, 'Where's the Schmidt's? At least some Rolling Rock? Don't be going with Coors Light,' " Maddon said. "It's so unfashionable for a Philly dude."

Maddon drank Yuengling, another local beer, in his office after Sunday's game.

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Dirty trick?

Maddon asked the umpires to check some discoloration on the cap of Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton. The spot also was visible during Blanton's start in the National League Championship Series, although Dodgers Manager Joe Torre did not challenge Blanton.

The umpires took no action against Blanton.

"It's nothing sticky," Blanton said. "Anybody can go touch it. It's just basically dirt from the ball that gets -- over time, over so many starts, I don't change my hat -- just gets rubbed on the hat."

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Tale of two balls

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria said he had no second thoughts about picking up the winning hit Saturday, the slow roller hit 40 feet up the third base line by Carlos Ruiz.

"It wasn't going to go foul," Longoria said. "It had top spin. It didn't have side spin. He couldn't have picked it up and rolled it to a better spot."

Longoria hit a ball about 340 feet, an apparent home run at the crack of the bat, before a stiff wind knocked it down in left field.

"I hit it just about as good as I could hit it," he said.

In the same inning, with that wind still blowing toward right field, the Phillies' Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hit consecutive home runs to right.

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Three bad calls

The umpires have not distinguished themselves in the World Series. In Game 2, plate umpire Kerwin Danley signaled strike three on Tampa Bay's Rocco Baldelli, then said he had meant to signal to the first base umpire for help. Baldelli walked, leading to a run in the Rays' 4-2 victory.

In Game 3, Tom Hallion called Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford safe at first base when replays showed he was out, leading to two runs in the Phillies' 5-4 victory. Had the Phillies not rallied to win in the ninth inning, Hallion might have been vilified here forever.

In Game 4, Tim Welke called Jimmy Rollins safe at third base, even though replays showed he was out, leading to the Phillies' first run in their 10-2 rout.

Mike Port, baseball's vice president for umpiring, said umpires are selected for the World Series via a merit system.

"Umpires miss calls and miss pitches," Port said. "At the major league level, they minimize them to a degree that is nothing less than amazing."

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bill.shaikin@latimes.com

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