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Friday, May 25, 2018
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Rays notes: Protest denial perplexes Maddon

BALTIMORE — Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon was informed Tuesday that his protest of Saturday’s loss at Toronto was denied, but he wasn’t quite clear on the reason.

“I can’t tell you exactly why,” Maddon said. “I’m not going to make stuff up. Apparently there’s something about they’re calling it a judgment (call) and unable to protest a replay of some sort.”

Managers cannot protest a judgment call by an umpire, and Maddon said he thinks that was what the decision was based on — umpire Bob Davidson’s judgment that Rays SS Yunel Escobar was not settled in the batter’s box when Toronto manager John Gibbons left the dugout to challenge the previous play in which Rays DH Wil Myers was ruled safe on a pickoff attempt at first base.

“I didn’t think we were protesting replay. We were protesting the right to go to replay,” Maddon said. “I think there were two different moments there.”

Maddon argued that Jays LHP Mark Buehrle was standing on the rubber and Escobar was in the batter’s box well before Gibbons left the dugout. According to the replay challenge rules, a pitcher on the rubber and a batter in the box signals the next play has begun and prevents a manager from challenging the previous play.

“For me, there was no clearer rule among all the rules that were made for this than that one, so when something is that clear cut and then it’s twisted a bit, that’s what makes it even more difficult to understand all of this,” Maddon said. “Going into (new replay), I was the first one to say it’s going to be a fluid system, things are going to change and it’s going to be worked out, it’s going to be very good for the game. But the one thing I don’t get is the clearest point of all has been disputed and overturned. That’s what I don’t quite understand.”

Maddon praised the way Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president for baseball operations, handled the case. Maddon also said he thinks there should be more discussion on this rule, especially with the postseason looming.

Meanwhile, in Toronto, Gibbons told reporters, “I’m sure I’ll get a note saying, ‘Speed it up a little bit better next time.’ They’ll leave no doubt maybe. They did the right thing. Bottom line, they got the call right. That’s what the whole replay system is for anyway.”


Hanigan returns

C Ryan Hanigan (left oblique strain) was activated from the disabled list, and C Curt Casali was optioned to Class A Charlotte.

Casali is eligible to return when the Stone Crabs’ season ends Sunday. He should rejoin the Rays on Monday when the rosters expand.

Hanigan, who had 10 at-bats over the weekend with the Stone Crabs, said it was time to rejoin the team.

“If I had been out a little less time, I might have taken more at-bats, but I feel I’ve been out too long. I need to be on this team. I need to be helping this team, trying to play,” Hanigan said.


Sore forearm has Longo at DH

Evan Longoria served as the DH on Tuesday night for the second straight game because of a sore right forearm that hurts when he throws but not when he bats.

“I don’t think it’s any cause for concern,” Longoria said. “It’s something I was playing through for maybe the five days before (Monday). I just want to give it a rest and let it calm down. It doesn’t bother me to hit, and that’s a good thing. I should be back in there (tonight).”

Longoria said he did not have an MRI, nor does he expect to have one. He said he could have played Tuesday if it was necessary to have his glove at third base.

Maddon said Longoria could DH tonight if his forearm is still sore.



Triple-A Durham clinched its seventh International League South Division title in eighth years on Monday. Maddon said that can impact that amount of players the Rays call up in September. ... Casali impressed Maddon with his play while subbing for Hanigan. “Truly made a good case for himself in the future,” Maddon said. ... Longoria designed the black and neon green New Balance spikes he wore Tuesday. “They’re a tiny bit loud,” he said. Longoria said he might wear them for several games, then auction them off for charity

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