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Joe Maddon calls throwing at Luke Scott “a weak, cowardly effort”

May 26, 2012, 9:47 AM EDT

Joe Maddon Getty Getty Images

Benches cleared in the top of the ninth inning of last night’s Rays-Red Sox game after Franklin Morales hit Luke Scott in the leg. No punches were thrown and no players were ejected, but Rays manager Joe Maddon was pretty incensed after his team went on to win the game 7-4.

According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Maddon said throwing at Scott “reeks of intent” and indirectly called out the Red Sox coaching staff.

“I’m kind of curious regarding who put out the hit, because I know it wasn’t one of their players,” he said. “Truly, watch the video. The people that were incensed, obviously they’re the ones that were probably behind the effort, the really weak, cowardly effort on their part. Did I say that strongly enough? Did I make my point?”

Loud and clear, Joe. Loud and clear. It’s worth noting that Dustin Pedroia was hit by a pitch just three innings earlier, but Maddon insisted it wasn’t intentional because the plunking brought David Ortiz to the plate as the tying run.

Bad blood between the Rays and Red Sox is nothing new. Just last week, Matt Moore hit Adrian Gonzalez and the Red Sox responded by hitting Scott with a pitch. Of course, Scott isn’t a very popular guy in Boston these days after calling Fenway Park a “dump” last month. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine denied any intent at throwing at him last night, instead chalking it up to some karmic coincidence.

“Emotions boiling over at that point? Frustration mounting? I don’t know,” Valentine said. “It seemed like it was with both teams on the field. But with the guy getting hit? Maybe it was the Ghost of Fenway Past remembering that he bad-mouthed all our fans and stadium, or something, just directing the ball at his leg.”

Maddon doesn’t expect any carryover when the two teams meet up again tonight, but promised that “we will respond to others that do attempt to do it to us.”

  1. psuravens19 - May 26, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Joe Madden is the best manager in Baseball… love this guy.

    • dondada10 - May 26, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      I used to say Mike Scioscia was the best. Funny, that hasn’t been the case since Maddon left L.A.

    • Glenn - May 26, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      Though I agree that Joe Maddon is a great manager, the Rays did start this thing by throwing at Gonzalez after he merely said that maybe he would hit a home run in his next game in response to a question about his lack of power. There was no bravado in Gonzalez’ statement what so ever. The Rays are the ones who began acting “cowardly and petty”.

    • indaburg - May 26, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      Agreed. I love my manager.

    • bigharold - May 26, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      “Joe Madden is the best manager in Baseball…”

      Tell that to Buck Showalter. Showalter has turned teams around everywhere he went. Maddon’s Rays lost nearly 200 games in his first two seasons. His young pitchers mature and then they start winning and all the sudden he’s a genius? I don’t think so.

      Maddon, coming into this season is barely a .500 manager. He gets away with doing unconventional things because he’s in a smaller market and the expectation are lower because the Rays obviously don’t have the resources their competitors have. The key to Tampa’s success is less Maddon and far more Andrew Friedman who has done an outstanding job drafting and developing a crop of some of the best pitchers in MLB.

  2. hushbrother - May 26, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    It does seem unlikely Pedroia was hit intentionally. And yeah, somebody clearly ordered Morales to hit Scott. So this was either an unnecessary retaliation, or Scott was hit because he’s not popular in Boston.

  3. offseasonblues - May 26, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    I expect numerous thumbs down for this, but Maddon is not the innocent victim here. The Rays threw at Nava’s head, tried to hit Pedroia and then did hit Pedroia. After plunking Gonzalez in the last series. Give me a break with the outrage, Joe.

    • bigharold - May 26, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      “Give me a break with the outrage, Joe.”

      Maddon’s outrage does seem more than a bit contrived considering what his pitchers were doing to the RS. And, Tampa pitchers have repeatedly hit other teams in retaliation for their players being hit. I can’t remember him ever taking to twitter to call them cowardly.

      This is from a guy that not only retaliated in 2009 for Carlos Pena getting his hand broken by hitting Teixiera and he refused to pitch to Teixeira so that Pena would lose his HR lead.

  4. gotampabay52 - May 26, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Screw you boston fans worst team and fans with ugly chicks

    • kgsmith - May 26, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      and the boston fans have what to do with this?

      • ravenscaps48 - May 26, 2012 at 11:39 AM

        Everything? Hahaha

    • sabatimus - May 26, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      At least we come out in droves to see the games, regardless of how well they’re doing. How long did it take Rays fans to actually show up at the park to watch a GREAT team play? 4 years?

      • flpunx - May 26, 2012 at 5:16 PM

        First of all, comparing attendances between one of the most storied franchises in baseball and a 14 year old expansion team isn’t a fair comparison.

        Secondly, take a look at the financial demographics between Boston and Tampa Bay. Take a look at per capita spending. Than, take into consideration the people you are yelling at on a HBT thread are more than likely the ones going to the games to begin with. . . .

    • ray1950 - May 26, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      The “chicks” comment eliminated any credibility you had … and you didn’t have much to begin with.

    • 24missed - May 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM

      Dear gotampabay52,

      Thanks for the offer, but I’ll pass. I’m not that confident you’d
      be any good in the sack, anyway. I’m faithful to the RS and
      my HBT boyfriend.
      Another piece of information for you: some
      of the RS fans might actually be females. So are you acknowledging
      that the female fan base could actually be attractive? They just
      hang with the ugly chicks? Just looking for some clarification.

      Sincerely,
      24missingCur

    • drewzducks - May 26, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      Pathetic Rays fans. Maybe you should go to one if their games. 13 out of 14 in AL attendance last year, 12 out of 14 this year.

    • bahia2 - May 26, 2012 at 7:36 PM

      Good thing Boston didn’t win or they would change the score just like they did the FCAT’s.Anyone born and raised in Florida is uneducated and will never match wits with the Bean Town fans.

  5. daisycutter1 - May 26, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Valentine really needs to shut up already.

    “Ghost of Fenway Past”? Not very clever and pretty much an admission of guilt.

    • kgsmith - May 26, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      I thought it was funny.. in other words, watch what you say, it just might come back to bite you!

  6. greymares - May 26, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    I beleive anybody that crys about a hit batter whether intentional or not should be suspended. It’s as much a part of the game as the bunt.

    • psuravens19 - May 26, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      This doesn’t even make sense… suspended?

    • raysfan1 - May 26, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      Really? You honestly believe intentionally throwing at a batter is a legitimate part of the game? I don’t care whether it is the team I root for doing it or the other team, it is wrong, dangerous, and stupid. I also think a certain former Red Sox named Tony Conigliaro would have agreed with me, may he rest in peace.

      • ray1950 - May 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        You obviously never saw Bob Gibson or Don Drysdale pitch. And if the opposing manager had complained about it, they would both do it again.

      • raysfan1 - May 26, 2012 at 5:53 PM

        Actually, I did watch them pitch. They were great pitchers, but that does not make intentionally throwing at batters less wrong, dangerous, or stupid. Conigliaro was a great player too–until he got beaned in the head.

  7. drewmunny - May 26, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Wow. Can’t say it loudly enough – Maddon is every bit the douche I always suspected. Someone else mentioned that he’s not exactly innocent in this, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. Save the righteous indignation, it comes across as petulant and childish.

    • bobdira - May 26, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      You are clearly not a right minded person. No manager would ever instruct a pitcher to bring the tying run to the plate by intentionally throwing at a batter. What they typically do is wait until there are two outs and have their pitcher throw as many pitches as necessary until they hit someone. Get it, asshole?

      • drewmunny - May 26, 2012 at 11:15 AM

        As an asshole, yes, I do get it.

  8. dcrudy - May 26, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Double your dose of Midol this morning, Joe.

  9. thefacts121 - May 26, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Everyone here is overreacting. I read an article on this very site after a game in which two batters were hit intentionally, but only one of the pitchers admitted to intending it. Since only the pitcher who admitted to it was even mentioned — let alone criticized — in the article, it became clear to me that it is only admitting to intending obviously intentional behavior that is wrong. MLB agreed and only suspended the player who admitted to it. No one here admitted to anything, so obviously no one did anything wrong.

  10. sabatimus - May 26, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    What would you expect out of Maddon? Like any coach in such a situation he’s going to defend his own while criticizing the other team. Big freaking deal.

    By the way, Morales should come out and admit he was plunking Scott–he’d only get one of his relief appearances pushed back by a day if he did so.

  11. ravenscaps48 - May 26, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Red Sox < Rays… Period, End of Discussion… Have fun in Last Place, You Beantown Scum Buckets!

    • drewzducks - May 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      Go O’s, Go Ravens, Go Caps, Go Bullets? A murderers row of championship ineptitude.

  12. whodeytn - May 26, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Valentine is such a clown. I’m really enjoying watching his team crash and burn!

    • giselleisasucubus - May 26, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      when did they crash and burn this year?Tough start, but you are not going to like watching this team because they arent as bad as advertised. They’ll be in the race all year.

      • jrh1194 - May 26, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        And they aren’t as good as advertised prior to the start of the season. The Sox stink and ther fans better get used to seiing them in last place.

      • lardin - May 26, 2012 at 5:01 PM

        Currently in last place and below 500. 28th out of 30 in pitching. A AAA outfield, A firstbaseman with no power whose moved to RF. A 3B who cant stay healthly moving to first Zero production offense or defense from SS or C.

        Sellers at the deadline, bye bye Becket. Bye Bye Youkilis. Bye Bye Papi.

  13. whodeytn - May 26, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    I beleive anybody that crys about a hit batter whether intentional or not should be suspended. It’s as much a part of the game as the bunt.
    =====

    No, it’s not.

  14. giselleisasucubus - May 26, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Hipster doofus hypocrite. Yeah, throw at Gonzalez last week, and last night is cowardly. I am so sick of this jackass, who, bye the way, has never won anything more than the ALCS. Don’t guys typically win a title before they run their mouth?

    • bobdira - May 26, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      What title has valentine won? How many manager of the year awards has he won? Joe’s not always right, but he got this one on the money.

  15. indaburg - May 26, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    This was a pathetic calculated move by the always classy Valentine to get Boston fans on his side. It appears to be working.

    • Old Gator - May 26, 2012 at 12:37 PM

      It worked great in Chiba, too. By the time he got booted, only the owners hated him.

      • indaburg - May 26, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        Heh… good point.

  16. Old Gator - May 26, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    An ironic lil’ thing: Maddon strongly “made his point.” Valentine strongly made his point. All managers strongly make the same point about their guys getting hit. The other team is always “cowardly.” There are no Gandhis in the dugout. Anywhere. Ergo, no one really give a shit when a manager strongly makes his point, since all the other managers strongly make their points too. Many of them strongly make their point when, in fact, there is no point to be made, simply because it is important to make it strongly, and if they haven’t strongly made a point recently, they will make a point strongly for no reason whatsoever, just to be on record as having strongly made one. Let it be written, and so forth. It’s all a lot of what the immortal (though dead) George Carlin famously called “dick waving.”

    • 24missed - May 26, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      That’s so funny. I think you strongly made your point. And bonus points for George Carlin reference.

    • indaburg - May 26, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      Your point, OG?

    • ugglasforearms - May 26, 2012 at 2:19 PM

      I’m still laughing at “immortal (though dead)…”
      Good one!

  17. hushbrother - May 26, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    How about adopting George Carlin’s rule – if you get hit by the pitch, you’re out. Bam, hit by pitch? Sit down, you’re out.

  18. hammyofdoom - May 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    I absolutely hate batters getting hit on purpose…but really Maddon? It was “cowardly”? You have a player that mouthed off as much about Boston as Scott did and two Red Sox batters had been hit within the past week by your guys, with one definitely being on purpose and the other being hit right in the ribs and you DON’T expect retaliation? What are the Red Sox supposed to think when the essential heart of the team is hit in the ribs after what has already gone on between these two teams? I don’t condone it but you at least have to expect it.

  19. teaspoon1731 - May 26, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    You know, the hit very well could have been intentional. But at the same time, Morales hasn’t exactly been pinpoint accurate lately either.

  20. ravenscaps48 - May 26, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Besides the History of Fenway Park (Which I have been to) it’s not a ballpark that I will go to again. I agree 1,000% with what Luke Scott said about Fenway Park…. Which was EXACTLY why he got thrown at last night.

    • raysfan1 - May 26, 2012 at 6:08 PM

      On the contrary, I once lived near Boston, and went to every game I could and loved every minute of it. It is one of the cathedrals of baseball. What Scott said was out of line, plus honestly those of us who go to home games at a park that looks like a lopsided toadstool really should not trash talk about other teams’ stadiums.

    • bahia2 - May 26, 2012 at 7:40 PM

      Old but beautiful and definetly not a tent or whatever the Rays play in.

  21. xmatt0926x - May 26, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    I’m not a fan of intentionally throwing a ball at hitters, but I can’t help but think it’s never a bad thing when Luke Scott is hit. Ol’ Hoss Hamels would have put it right between his eyes.

  22. 1981titan - May 26, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    As an Angel fan I have only one thing to say. We Miss Joe!

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