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Segui irked at umps after Maier-like play

By MIKE READLING

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 22, 2001


ST. PETERSBURG -- David Segui hit a liner to leftfield in the second inning that appeared to be snared by a fan in the first row just before it bounced off the top of the wall. After ruling it a home run, bringing Rays manager Hal McRae out of the dugout, all four umpires conferred before changing it to a ground-rule double due to fan interference.

The move angered more than one Oriole.

"Nothing surprises me with what I've seen this year," Segui said. "The bottom line is trying to get (the call) right. But my question is, why weren't they trying to get it right before Hal McRae came out of the dugout ... ? If he hadn't, were they not going to try to get it right?"

Nineteen-year-old Dale Adams, who lives in Tampa but grew up in Baltimore, caught the ball: "I put my glove right on the railing. Once I caught the ball my hand sank down. It would have bounced off the railing and into the crowd if I hadn't caught it."

The play was similar to one in the 1996 American League Championship Series between the Orioles and Yankees, when 12-year-old Jeff Maier reached over the fence to grab a Derek Jeter fly ball that was ruled a home run. Adams doesn't like the comparison.

"That kid made me so sick. He was on Jay Leno, they gave him season tickets ... it made me sick," Adams said. "Now the umpires here make a bad call and make me look like that kid. I'm an Orioles fan, I would never do that to them."

STARTING OUT: When Mike Judd takes the mound, he has one thing in mind: go as hard as he can for as long as he can.

Today, he will use that mentality as a starter for the first time as a Ray and the first time since July 18 with Los Angeles.

Judd, 3-2 lifetime with five starts in 16 games, has appeared in three games for the Rays, compiling a 1.08 ERA. Because Judd has been a reliever, McRae said he will limit him to about 90 pitches.

"I'm going to be aggressive and go after hitters and stay aggressive for as long as I'm in there," Judd said. "If I throw good, nothing is going to happen except I'm going to keep going out there."

FIGHT FALLOUT: Durham players Terrell Lowery and Bobby Smith each received three-game suspensions for their part in a bench-clearing brawl against Toledo on Thursday night. Jason Standridge, who hit Tom Evans with a pitch to ignite the fight, has not received his punishment.

GAPPERS: McRae's first win as a Ray came 2,441 days after his last win, Aug. 9, 1994, when he managed Kansas City. ... Ben Grieve's sixth-inning home run was his first in 79 career Tropicana Field at-bats and the first Rays homer in 192 at-bats. It was the first homer in Rays history to clear the restaurant in centerfield and measured 463 feet.

ALBIE LEADING: Yes, that is Albie Lopez at the top of the American League ERA standings. And, no, he did not get traded to Boston.

Lopez, who carries a 1.45 ERA, became the first non-Red Sox player to claim that spot since April 18, 2000, when Hideo Nomo's ERA rose from 1.41 to 3.13 Friday night.

GETTING IN: McRae said Steve Cox, who starts today for the first time since Tuesday, will start at first base once a week, giving Fred McGriff a chance to rest.

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