Rays' manager Joe Maddon on last weekend's bench-clearer: 'It's a dead issue'

May 30, 2014 - 2:42 pm
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It'€™s been less than a week since the Rays and Red Sox were involved in what could be described as a fracas, when the benches cleared at Tropicana Field during the seventh inning of Sunday'€™s contest. But Rays manager Joe Maddon says he and his team have already put the incident out of their minds. "€œI thought we dealt with it afterwards, I thought we made our point afterwards, I thought it was pretty clear," Maddon said on Friday at Fenway Park. "€œFor me, it'€™s a totally dead issue, we haven'€™t even thought about it until I was asked about it today. We kind of forgot about it." Both benches emptied when Yunel Escobar took third base on defensive indifference while the Rays were up by five runs in the seventh inning. Barking from the Red Sox dugout towards Escobar ensued, and the shortstop began to respond, walking towards the dugout and having to be restrained. When asked about Escobar possibly getting booed by the Fenway crowd on Friday night, Maddon wasn'€™t concerned. "[Escobar] just came off of a good booing in Toronto, where he played well," Maddon said. Escobar spent three seasons with the Blue Jays, a tenure that ended with some tension when he wrote a homophobic slur in Spanish on his eye black in a game against the Red Sox in 2012. John Farrell was his manager at the time.  The incident obviously did not help Escobar'€™s popularity. The Rays have helped him get past some less-than-warm receptions, though. "What we usually do for Escobar is we give him a good standing round of applause in the dugout, and we applauded very loudly so he could hear it, and he smiles and he goes out and plays a good game," Maddon said. Escobar was one of the three players ejected in the hoopla, along with Sean Rodriguez and Jonny Gomes, who ran all the way in from his position in left field to deliver a shove to Escobar. "I'm sure Boston appreciated it, it'€™s a situation where a guy sticks up for his teammates," Maddon said of Gomes' reaction. "It'€™s all about interpretation. If it'€™s your teammate, you love it, and if it happens from the other side, you'€™re going to argue against "€œIt'€™s not always cut and dry, but it'€™s always going to be viewed from the perspective of whomever side your on. You'€™re either going to advocate it or speak against it. It'€™s really a very consistent process when it comes down to that." Maddon also said that he doesn'€™t care one way or another whether extra fines or penalties are handed down from the league in response to Gomes'€™ actions. While it seems like the oft-heated rivalry between the Rays and Red Sox might have had some fire added to it during the last series, Maddon insists that there are no hard feelings. "€œI'€™ve got a short memory with that stuff,"€ Maddon said. "€œIt'€™s really difficult to hurt my feelings, it'€™s very hard to do that. Like I talked about at the time, it'€™s one of those things, it'€™s about interpretation, personal morals and how you view the rest of the world and that'€™s how we view the world, and I kind of made my point."€

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