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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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Missed call frustrates Maddon, Lee
By MARC TOPKIN
Published July 17, 2006
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon and first baseman Travis Lee were both upset, in their own way, about a missed call by first-base umpire Marty Foster in the pivotal fifth inning Sunday.
But they were more frustrated by Foster's unwillingness to communicate with the other umpires to see if they had a different view of the play since Maddon and Lee believed - and TV replays showed - that Lee tagged Robb Quinlan before he crossed first.
"Based on the physical evidence on the ground and my first baseman being very upset, I just wanted a little more help, that's all," Maddon said. "It was only heated because he did not want to do the one thing I asked him to do, and because of that I got upset."
The result was a fiery, animated, nose-to-nose argument that would have made former Rays manager Lou Piniella proud. It was a side of Maddon that Rays fans haven't seen.
"I made my points. I thought my logic was clear. I wasn't getting upset. I thought I expressed myself clearly. When he did just not want to go to that next level, I just started to get more upset," Maddon said.
It was the second time Maddon has been ejected this season, both against his former Angels team.
"Must be that Italian blood," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, his former boss. "Joe's passionate, no doubt about it."
Lee was more subtle about his displeasure, but the result was the same as he was ejected for what he said was the first time in his nine-season big-league career.
Though Lee didn't confront Foster, he admitted that as play went on, he continued to harp on the call, and at one point, he told Foster "he really missed it" and wished he would check with home-plate umpire Bill Welke. But Foster refused, which Lee found hard to believe, even more so because Lee said Foster admitted he didn't have a clear view and that Welke later told catcher Dioner Navarro he thought Lee may have made the play.
"That's all we were asking," Lee said. "He said he was 2 feet away from the call, and he doesn't need to ask him, even though he said he couldn't see if I touched him."
THERE'S JONNY: Jonny Gomes' ejection might have been the shortest in history. With Navarro rolling on the ground after a sixth-inning collision at the plate, first baseman Greg Norton waved for someone on the Rays bench to get a towel. Gomes grabbed one and tossed it out on the field, and before Norton could pick it up, Foster tossed Gomes.
"I heard, 'Jonny, you're out of here.' I wasn't looking that direction or anything so I said, 'Why?' He said, 'You can't throw a towel on the field,' " Gomes recalled. "I said, 'Well, our catcher's bleeding, and he needs a towel, and he called for a towel.' And he said, 'Oh, I guess you can stay in then.' "
MEDICAL UPDATE: Third baseman Ty Wigginton's strained back felt better, but Maddon said it probably will be Tuesday before he returns to the lineup. ... Scott Kazmir said he felt "great" after throwing a bullpen session and had no lingering effects from the stiff neck that delayed his next start from Saturday to Tuesday.
MINOR MATTERS: Mitch Talbot, the pitcher acquired from Houston in the Aubrey Huff trade, made an impressive debut Sunday, pitching five shutout innings for Double-A Montgomery. ... Josh Hamilton went 2-for-4 Sunday for Class A Hudson Valley and increased his average to .323 through his first nine games. ... Durham catcher Shawn Riggans' wrist injury will be further evaluated today.
MISCELLANY: Leadoff man Julio Lugo, whose name continues to come up in trade talk in New York, has reached base 42 times in his past 81 plate appearances. ... James Shields said his back was a little sore after falling backward in the dugout to avoid being hit by a foul ball.