Tampa's Joe Maddon ejected as potential beanball battle begins with Tigers
DETROIT — Has last year’s game of one-upmanship and retaliation spilled over to this season?
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon was ejected in the sixth inning of Friday’s game against the Detroit Tigers, after warnings were issued to both benches following a third hit batter of the game.
Last year in July, the two teams exchanged pleasantries in Tampa, when then-Rays closer Fernando Rodney buzzed Miguel Cabrera, leading to a Rick Porcello plunking of Ben Zobrist a day later.
At the time, Maddon said he wished Cabrera “didn’t cry so much.”
Friday’s plunking battle started in the fourth inning, when Tampa starter Alex Cobb hit Victor Martinez on the knee.
In the top of the sixth, Drew Smyly plunked Rays cleanup hitter Evan Longoria in the upper back.
In the bottom of the inning, Cobb hit Ian Kinsler to start the inning, and home plate umpire Quinn Walcott — just promoted to full-time umpiring duty with the retirement of veteran ump Gary Darling — warned both benches.
Maddon took umbrage with the warnings, and came out onto the field to argue — despite warnings from both Walcott and crew chief Greg Gibson not to — and was ejected by Gibson.