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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Latest blow: Shoulder sidelines Crawford
By MARC TOPKIN
Published April 20, 2006
BOSTON - As if the Devil Rays haven't been hurt enough already by injuries, leftfielder Carl Crawford was scratched from Wednesday's lineup with a sore right shoulder and could miss additional games.
Crawford was injured diving for a ball in Tuesday's game and said he was in so much pain Wednesday he couldn't swing a bat, making it unclear when he could return.
"I don't know," Crawford said. "I'm hoping it's just a couple days. Right now it doesn't feel too good."
Crawford said the injury is similar to one he sustained late in the 2004 season, which is not good news as he missed seven games over a 10-day period.
"It's kind of like the first time it happened ... it was like hyperextended," Crawford said. "It's just the same thing from that dive. I landed on it hard again. It went back to that same pain again where I can't even swing the bat."
Crawford said it hurt so much when he hit the ground Tuesday he lost his breath, though he was able to finish the game. Manager Joe Maddon said Crawford's availability is day to day, but the fleet leftfielder said he is aiming to be back by Friday when the Rays open a series in Texas.
"Right now it's hurting," he said. "I'm going to get it worked on and do everything I can to get back in the field as soon as possible. If I'm not playing by Texas, I'd be very disappointed."
KAZ CONFUSED: After thinking about it overnight, Scott Kazmir decided to respond to Curt Schilling's radio show accusation that the issues between the Rays and Sox are the result of Kazmir hitting too many batters.
"I don't know why he would say that," Kazmir said. "Why would I, of all people, get thrown into everything? I was looking at a video before of past things with the Red Sox and Devil Rays, and they had all this other stuff before I was even in pro ball. And all of a sudden it's all because of me? Okay."
In seven games, Kazmir has hit five Red Sox, though Sox pitchers in those games hit 10 Rays.
"So I guess I don't know how to pitch inside if I hit a guy or two? It doesn't make too much sense," said Kazmir, who starts tonight. "It's his opinion. He wants to be heard."
THE 3-4: The radical defensive shift the Rays again used on Boston's David Ortiz, featuring four outfielders, second baseman Jorge Cantu in shallow rightfield and no infielders on the left side, does have a name, courtesy of pitching coach Mike Butcher.
"It's the 3-4 defense," Maddon said. "It's based on the hitter (Ortiz wears No. 34) as well as having three in the infield and four in the outfield. It works from the batter's box all the way out to the field."
The Rays devised the scheme to increase their chances of getting out Ortiz, whom Maddon said is now "on the level with like a Barry Bonds in regard to his hitting ability," or to at least tempt Ortiz to hit a ground ball to left while they plug the outfield gaps.
"We're just looking to see if we can get somebody in right place more often," Maddon said. "If you look at the charts he rarely hits the ball on this side of the infield."
Wednesday, the Rays used it three times, but Ortiz struck out twice (leaving catcher Toby Hall no one to throw to) and walked once.
REMEMBER HIM: Sox reliever Julian Tavarez, who started the nasty spring training brawl by punching Joey Gathright, pitched an uneventful eighth inning and did not face Gathright. He struck out Travis Lee, got Jonny Gomes on an infield popup and struck out Sean Burroughs.
MISCELLANY: The Rays have the third pick in the June draft but won't make their second pick until 47th under the order released Wednesday by MLB. ... Burroughs, activated from the disabled list Friday, made his first appearance, starting at third and going 0-for-4. ... Maddon said no decision had been made on a starter for Saturday's game. ... The Rays are 0-15-3 in their past 18 series at Fenway Park. ... Schilling, who has opened a season with four wins for the first time, recorded his 2,855th strikeout, tying Jim Bunning for 15th all-time. ... Going into Wednesday, Ty Wigginton's eight tying or go-ahead RBIs matched Oakland's Nick Swisher for the major-league lead.