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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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Play for A-Rod's bat merely tit for tat
By EDUARDO A. ENCINA, Times Staff Writer
Published September 2, 2007
NEW YORK - Rays manager Joe Maddon made it clear that he didn't believe there was anything illegal about Alex Rodriguez's bat, but he still requested it be confiscated Saturday afternoon an inning after Yankees manager Joe Torre did the same to Rays 3B Akinori Iwamura.
Rodriguez's bat didn't have a flat barrel end like Iwamura's (Torre reasoned he had never seen that before), but the majors' home run leader had just hit his 45th of the season in the first.
"It was just retaliation," Maddon said after the Rays' 9-6 loss. "There's nothing wrong with Alex Rodriguez. He's a great player. It was tit-for-tat entirely."
Umpire crew chief Dana DeMuth said Maddon argued there was "something inside the bat altering the distance of the ball."
"I said it's an illegal bat," Maddon said. "I said I can't see inside it but there might be something inside that bat. I don't have X-Ray vision. He had 45 home runs and it's Sept. 1. That was my argument."
Even after his bat was confiscated, Rodriguez took starter Edwin Jackson's next pitch to leftfield for a single. He managed two hits with a different bat, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs. He did drop an easy foul popup off the bat of Brendan Harris in the second (Harris later singled and scored).
"I was hoping they would take my glove, too," Rodriguez said. "But he wanted the bat. I thought it was pretty funny. I hope I get it back because I like that bat."
ARMED AND READY: Reliever Jay Witasick returned to the team Saturday and was the only player the Rays activated on the day rosters expanded.
Witasick pitched 91/3 scoreless innings in eight rehab appearances at Triple-A Durham and Class A Vero Beach.
"There weren't any negatives," he said. "I did everything I possibly could: a two-inning stint, back-to-back, one-plus. ... I felt (the elbow) is back to where I needed to be to pitch back up here."
When Witasick went on the DL July 22 with a right elbow strain, he was one of the few late-inning options, but with the team's bullpen reshuffling, it's unclear how he will be used.
BUSY BODY: When Andy Sonnanstine first looked at his cell phone he had 19 text messages from family and friends congratulating him on his eight-inning, two-hit effort Friday at Yankee Stadium, then received another 20 texts and seven voice mails through the night.
"It took me about two hours to answer them all," Sonnanstine said. "I'd be answering one and another one would come up. It was good though."
MINOR MATTERS: Both Triple-A Durham and Double-A Montgomery clinched playoff berths Friday night. Rays minor-league teams have a combined 359-325 record for a .525 winning percentage, the best organizational season since 1998. ... Montgomery LHP Jake McGee lasted just two innings Saturday, allowing four runs on three hits.
MISCELLANY: Rays LF Carl Crawford (50 hits, 11 steals in August) became the sixth player in the past 50 years to have both 50 hits and 10 steals in one month. That feat was last accomplished in June, when Angels IF Chone Figgins had 53 hits and 14 steals. ... The Rays have scored 80 runs in their past nine games.