ST. PETERSBURG — One day later, the home run/bat flip/slow trot by Boston’s David Ortiz was still an issue in the Tampa Bay Rays’ clubhouse. And it was clear that Rays RHP Chris Archer earned major respect in the clubhouse by calling out Ortiz and saying, “He feels like he’s bigger than the game. He feels like the show is all about him.’’
“Not only did he (Archer) earn respect here, but in all of baseball,’’ said Rays LHP David Price, who had his own issues with Ortiz, dating to last season’s home run/bat flip/slow trot in the playoffs, then Price’s hit-by-pitch retaliation this season. “He said what he needed to say. He said it well. I wish I would’ve said it as well.’’
Rays manager Joe Maddon agreed as he spoke before Monday night’s game against the Brewers.
“I’m kind of proud our guys said what they feel,’’ Maddon said. “I kind of dig that a lot, actually. One thing I encourage around here is speaking our minds.’’
Sunday, Ortiz had a strong reaction to Archer’s comments.
“Whatever, dude,’’ Ortiz said after Sunday’s game. “He’s not the right guy to be saying that, I think. He’s got two days in the league and to be (whining) and complaining about stuff like that … what else?’’
Archer’s response to that on Monday?
“I’m just here celebrating my third day in the big leagues,’’ he said.
And this: “I never saw Hank Aaron flip his bat.’’
And this: “My immediate thought was you’re never too youthful to tell the truth and say things how you see them.’’
Archer was roundly criticized last season when he leaped off the mound after striking out Boston’s Daniel Nava with the bases loaded. Archer then appeared to kiss his bicep.
“He (Ortiz) pimped a home run off me,’’ Archer said. “I’ve gotten excited before and they blew that out of proportion … but honestly, I was in the infant stages of my career then. That was literally like the fifth start of my career.
“People say you should act like you’ve been there before. At that time of my career, I had never been there. … I think we all know that’s how (Ortiz) plays the game. I don’t take back what I said, but what I said was true.’’
Peralta in; Bedard out
The Rays activated RHP Joel Peralta from the 15-day disabled list. Peralta confirmed he became ill from chikungunya, a mosquito-borne viral infection that is characterized by high fever, severe chronic joint pain and fatigue.
To no one’s surprise, the Rays made room for Peralta by designating LHP Erik Bedard (4-6, 4.76 ERA) for assignment. Bedard, who made 15 starts for Tampa Bay’s injury-plagued pitching staff, had made only two appearances in July.
Peralta, the franchise’s all-time leader in career appearances (270 heading into Monday night), had not been on the DL since 2004 with Triple-A Salt Lake City.
Brewers RHP Matt Garza, the former Ray who won Game 7 of the 2008 American League championship series and tossed a no-hitter in 2010 at Tropicana Field, is tonight’s starter. Last season, while pitching for the Texas Rangers, Garza took a 6-2 loss against the Rays on Sept. 16. He allowed eight hits and six earned runs in 41⁄3 innings.
“He’s a great personality,’’ Maddon said. “You watch him pitch, he’s not afraid. He spits a lot. He’s going to get upset sometimes, but the beautiful thing about him, regardless of how angry he got, (it was just) for that moment.’’
Rays C Ryan Hanigan, who was placed on the disabled list July 17 with a left oblique strain, said he hopes to be available for Friday’s game against the Angels. He will take batting practice today, then likely have two rehab outings at Port Charlotte. … Maddon and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke were coaches on Mike Scioscia’s Angels staff from 2000-06. … Does attendance translate to the win-loss record? When the Rays play before crowds of 25,000 or greater, they are 29-15 (.659) this season. Heading into Monday night’s game, the Rays were 22-39 (.361) when crowds dipped below the 25,000 mark. … During the nine-game winning streak, which ended with Sunday’s 3-2 loss against Boston, the Rays outscored opponents 48-15 and the pitching staff led the majors with a 1.33 ERA, including an 0.86 ERA by the bullpen. … Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi will take part in a Twitter question-and-answer session today at 2:15 p.m., on the @RaysBaseball account. Fans can submit questions live or ahead of time using #AskOdo.