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Maddon defends decisions

October 30, 2008|Bill Shaikin | Shaikin is a Times staff writer.

PHILADELPHIA — Tampa Bay Rays Manager Joe Maddon left the World Series amid a hail of criticism for two managing decisions in the finale, a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies

The suspended game resumed in the sixth inning, with the score tied, 2-2. With right-hander Grant Balfour pitching for the Rays, Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel used left-handed Geoff Jenkins as a pinch-hitter.

Jenkins doubled and scored. Maddon did not use left-hander J.P. Howell, even though he was warming up and Jenkins was three for 23 against left-handers this season. Manuel could have countered with right-handed So Taguchi, but he was three for 33 as a pinch-hitter.

After the Rays tied the score in the top of the seventh, Maddon let Howell pitch to right-handed Pat Burrell leading off the bottom of the inning, with right-hander Chad Bradford warming up.

Burrell doubled, and pinch-runner Eric Bruntlett scored what turned out to be the winning run. Burrell hit .279 against left-handers and .238 against right-handers this season.

"I really had it mapped out the exact way that it occurred," Maddon said. "They did not cooperate with their offense."

Maddon said he liked the matchup of Balfour against Jenkins and did not want to burn one of his left-handers for one batter, since the game could have gone into extra innings. He also said he liked Howell against Burrell.

"All that stuff worked," Maddon said. "They just got two runs, which was the non-popular thing that they did."

Fight on

Pat Gillick, the Phillies' general manager, heads into retirement winning a championship on the 50-year anniversary of winning another. In 1958, Gillick pitched for the USC team that won the College World Series.

Gillick and the Phillies will receive gaudy title rings. For the 1958 Trojans, he said, there were no rings.

"I've got a plaque at home," he said.

Leading off

The Rays resumed the suspended game at the No. 6 spot in the lineup, meaning catcher Dioner Navarro would be their first batter. "I'm excited," Navarro said. "I never thought I would lead off in a big league game."

Keep it local

The rainy days in Philadelphia revived talk about holding the World Series at a warm-weather neutral site. Maddon and Manuel each said he considered that idea ridiculous.

"I think each town should be rewarded, the home-team fan base," Maddon said.

Keeping dry

The Phillies' Brett Myers used Tuesday's rain day to visit a local shooting range. He said he is not concerned about what fans might think.

"Most people like shooting guns," he said. "Most people like to hunt. I do it in a controlled area, you know. I don't walk around with a gun. It's always in the trunk, or something like that, when I'm headed that way."

Spirit of '08

Phillies season-ticket holders Renee and Chris Ryan welcomed twin boys into the world Monday, naming their sons Cole and Chase, as in Cole Hamels and Chase Utley.

"Their last name is Ryan," the proud father told the Philadelphia Daily News, "so we have the Phillies' infield well represented."


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