Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“Trust me, it’s not us,’’ Maddon said. “I have no idea on their side, but just watching the video, the people that were incensed, obviously they’re the ones that were probably behind the effort, the really weak, cowardly effort on their part.
“Did I say that strongly enough? Did I make my point?’’
“I didn’t understand the situation whatsoever, it was not called for at all,’’ Maddon said. “I’m kind of curious regarding who put out the hit, because I know it wasn’t one of their players. By the way their players reacted to the entire situation, I knew it did not come from them.
“It’s kind of incompetent behavior, it’s the kind of behavior that gets people hurt on your own side by choosing to do something so ridiculous.’’
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine had his own theory.
“The guy getting hit? Maybe it was the Ghost of Fenway Past remembering that he bad-mouthed all our fans and stadium.’’
Said Maddon: “We don’t initiate anything, I promise you that. I’d like to believe we handle ourselves in a classier manner than that, I believe that we play the game properly. There’s no vengeance in our soul, there’s none of that crap.
“But we will respond to others that do attempt to do it to us. I promise you that, too.’’
Globe - Maddon: Scrum was ‘cowardly’
The outrage by Joe Maddon is laughable.
His team plunked Adrian Gonzalez last week after his home run guarantee. Message sent. The Sox had Adrian's back, and plunked Scott in return. A different, but same message sent. So last night, in the 6th, the Rays beaned Pedroia. It's possible it was an accident, but it sure didn't look like it. Pedroia handled himself like a man and trotted down to first without any problems.
And Maddon knows that when you hit the (arguably) best player on the opposing team, there will be some sort of retaliation. Which is what Morales did. So he can immediately drop the "We don't initiate anything" alibi. You hit Pedroia. Initiation successful.
Now, Morales really has to do a better job of hitting batters. It took him like three pitches before he was able to lay one on Scott. That, more than anything, really ignites the situation. The Rays are in the dugout watching their batter effectively play dodgeball with 97 MPH fastballs. So you can't blame them for getting angry. But this one is on the umpires.
After the first Morales ball sailed behind Scott's back, his intentions were clear. Yet no warning was issued. So he went back again. And again. Before finally locating one on the back of Scott's knee.
So today, when the two teams take the field again every Sox batter is going to have to be on the lookout for a 95 MPH fastball from David Price screaming towards their ribs. Or, maybe not. You know, since the Rays "don't have vengeance" in their souls.
Rest of the links:
Herald - ‘Pen pals do their job | Rays light up Lester | Franklin Morales pitch sparks brawl | Globe - More Rays reaction | Sox square off, but fall to Rays | CSNNE - Lester lays egg; home struggles continue | Tensions boil over between Sox, Rays | ESPN - Red Sox, Rays fan flames again