St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Schedule
The Trop
The Trop
Getting to the Trop
Best routes
Parking
Interactive
Rays forum
The art of pitching
Links
Devil Rays' official home site
Talk baseball in our Devil Rays forum



printer version

Abernathy's slump puts him on bench

By Times staff writers
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 4, 2002

ST. PETERSBURG -- Brent Abernathy got away from the tendencies that made him one of the Rays' more solid hitters last year and that led to his benching Saturday.

The second baseman has 12 hits in his past 84 at-bats (.143), dropping his average to .238. He hit .191 in July, the lowest among Rays starters, and has five RBIs on the current nine-game homestand, with one in the 14 games before that.

Those numbers led manager Hal McRae to have a lengthy meeting with Abernathy, then announce that Felix Escalona will get most of the playing time for an unspecified period.

McRae also said Jason Conti would start the next few days in rightfield, filling in for Ben Grieve, who is hitting .241 after going 0-for-his-last-11 and getting seven hits since July 15.

"I was told it was for a while," Abernathy said. "I'm ready whenever needed."

Abernathy said his biggest problem has been trying to pull too many pitches rather than use the opposite field as he has successfully in the past.

"My approach at the plate has not been good and I haven't gotten many breaks at the plate. Therefore the results haven't been there," Abernathy said. "I strayed away from my strengths for a while."

* * *

EVERYTHING'S FINE: General manager Chuck LaMar said there would be no action taken against Tanyon Sturtze after a dugout tirade Friday during which the pitcher threw a stack of towels and a water cooler, which hit McRae's leg. McRae then shoved Sturtze.

"It's a situation where Hal's the manager and Tanyon's the player and they have to deal with it," LaMar said. "I'm satisfied they have."

Sturtze reacted angrily to being relieved in the sixth with a 5-3 lead, talking back to McRae and throwing the towels and tipping the cooler as he left the dugout. McRae took a few steps and shoved Sturtze with two hands in the back.

The two met after the game and McRae called it a "non-issue." Saturday, McRae said he pushed Sturtze as a "reflex action" and there were no hard feelings.

McRae said the incident was over and there would be no punishment.

He didn't have a lot of choice.

"I can't fine them enough," McRae said. "If you fine them $100 what's the use? One-hundred dollars? That's a phone call to a person you don't really like."

* * *

BACK FOR MORE: Just more than two months after he was carried off the field on a stretcher, umpire Steve Rippley returned to man home plate at Tropicana Field on Saturday.

Rippley was hit in the left temple by a Lee Gardner pitch that ricocheted off the A's Adam Piatt during a May 31 game. The blow briefly knocked the St. Petersburg native unconscious and halted the game for about 15 minutes as doctors attended to him.

Rippley, 48, who was held overnight at Bayfront Medical Center and released with a Grade 2 concussion, had a week of scheduled vacation, then missed four more weeks.

"It's back to normal. Whatever normal is," Rippley said. "It knocked me out right away and I lost consciousness for a couple seconds. Pretty much up until the point I got hit I remember a little bit but not everything. I know that it hit the batter but that's about it. I still flinch a little bit but that's to be expected."

Rippley put a small scare into the crowd when a Paul Wilson pitch deflected off Joe Crede's bat and knocked Rippley to his knees in the sixth inning Saturday. He quickly recovered and finished without incident.

* * *

ALVAREZ RARING TO GO: Wilson Alvarez threw for about 20 minutes in the bullpen, pronounced himself fully recovered from the left elbow tendinitis that put him on the disabled list July 17 and should be activated for Tuesday's game.

* * *

ALL CHECKED OUT: Doctors from St. Anthony's Health Care performed free physicals for about 400 Pinellas County student-athletes before the game.

* * *

SHORT HOPS: With the five-run third inning the Rays have scored five or more in an inning five times in the past 12 games. ... Wilson's win was his first against a team other than Baltimore this year.

-- MIKE READLING, MARC TOPKIN


Back to the Rays
Today's lineup

Rays
  • Injection of speed helps Rays win
  • Abernathy's slump puts him on bench
  • Rays tales
  • Reducing payroll or maintaining budget?

  • Bucs
  • Roman knows
  • Brown is here to compete
  • McKay is not bothered by Ray Lewis' new deal
  • Giants' Strahan lashes out at Sapp
  • Lott's LB son rookie standout
  • Southern Fryed

  • Gary Shelton
  • Finally, youth is conserved

  • Other sports

    Motorsports
  • Home cooking warms Gordon
  • Jarrett, Harvick top IROC at Brickyard
  • Stewart fast with car, faster with mouth

  • College football
  • New football players (19) report to USF

  • NFL
  • Dilfer will get chance to open it up with Seattle

  • Storm
  • Storm allows lead, season to slip away

  • Baseball
  • Indians' trades could portend bright future
  • Mariner DH ties mark with three sacrifice flies

  • Preps
  • Lyons' busy summer now includes a victory
  • Game is team's focus, not protest

  • Outdoors
  • Sunshine Skyway piers hold attention of pompano anglers
  • Daily fishing report

  • Letters
  • Sapp continues to show he is all talk, no action
  • Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
     


     Devil Rays Forums
    From The Wire
  • Players, teams start rush to settle in arbitration
  • AP source: Yankees sign free agent RHP Kuroda
  • AP source: Pineda, Montero in Yanks-Mariners swap
  • Resop, Pirates agree to a one-year deal
  • Zambrano says he's happy with trade to Marlins
  • Report: UK police officer loses Olympics documents
  • Jayhawks send Baylor to first loss of season
  • No. 1 Syracuse at 20-0 after 71-63 win over Pitt
  • Fisher's late 3 pushes Lakers past Mavericks 73-70
  • Westbrook's 3s lead Thunder past Celtics 97-88
  • Djokovic, Williams into Australian Open 2nd round
  • Tebow has earned starting status in 2012
  • Filly Havre de Grace wins Horse of the Year
  • Crosby to meet with specialist as symptoms linger
  • AP Top 25: Syracuse stays on top for 6th week