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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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Rays blow up, get blown out
An ugly first featuring the ejection of the manager and pitching coach kicks off a 16-1 loss to the Yankees, capping the home schedule.
By EDUARDO A. ENCINA
Published September 26, 2006
[Times photo: James Borchuck]
Jae Seo waits for umpire Alfonso Marquez to give him the ball after Seo threw one to the backstop in frustration following Jorge Posada's single in the first. Ty Wigginton stepped in and got the ball instead.
ST. PETERSBURG - Following the Rays' home finale, the team gave the shirts off their backs, handing their game-worn jerseys to raffle winners who attended Monday night's game.
Long before that, Rays manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Mike Butcher offered home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez a piece of their minds in the top of the first inning. He gave them a pair of ejections.
They ended up watching the final 82/3 innings of the Devil Rays' 16-1 loss to the Yankees Monday night in the clubhouse coaches' room, both tossed from the ballgame.
"It just got way too nuts," Maddon said. "It's part of the game I don't like. It happens and you don't run away from it."
The Rays couldn't capitalize on their opportunity to set a season record for home wins. They finished 41-40 at home.
Before the Rays' first batter stepped to the plate, Tampa Bay was already deep in a hole after a six-run first by the Yankees.
After a full-count foul ball to Hideki Matsui, Marquez looked to the Rays dugout and ejected Butcher, who was arguing balls and strikes. Butcher sprinted to home plate and emphatically went nose-to-nose with Marquez, pushing crew chief Larry Young to the side to continue his argument.
After putting himself between Marquez and Butcher, Maddon then became heated, leading to his ejection.
"It's something that just happens," Butcher said. "I don't go into a game thinking (to get ejected). It's not my goal. Never has been, never will be."
Three pitches later, Matsui silenced the Trop, taking the 14th pitch of the at-bat into the rightfield seats for a three-run homer.
Rays starter Jae Seo struggled with his control, hitting the first batter of the game, Johnny Damon, and walking Derek Jeter to set up Bobby Abreu's 13th homer of the season and fifth as a Yankee.
In the 26-minute inning, Seo threw 46 pitches to 10 batters. He was visibly frustrated throughout. After Jorge Posada's infield single, Seo threw the ball to the backstop in frustration, prompting a warning from Marquez.
"I had problems with my location tonight," Seo said. "What I thought was a strike, the umpire thought was a ball. After that, I lost my concentration and it never came back."
It was all Yankees starter Jaret Wright would need. Wright held the Rays to just one run on five hits, walking four and striking out four.
Eight of the nine Yankees starters had hits in New York's 20-hit attack. Five had multiple hits. Matsui and Abreu each drove in four runs.
"We scored early, we took advantage," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "We just seemed to have a little more life tonight."
The Rays' run came on Ty Wigginton's homer in the sixth, his third in as many games and 24th on the season. Wigginton, who was 2-for-4 on the night, was 11-for-25 in the homestand with four homers and 10 RBIs.
Meanwhile, Butcher could face a suspension because he made contact with Young.
"We're going to make a report to the (commissioner's) office and that's up to them," Young said.