Rays manager Joe Maddon didn't hold back his criticism of home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt and his strike zone on Friday that led to his ejection prior to the bottom of the sixth inning of Boston's 4-3 win over Tampa Bay Friday at Fenway Park. Several Rays were called out on strikes, including John Jaso to end the top of the sixth and B.J. Upton an inning earlier. Both strikeouts came on pitches that appeared well outside.
"Obviously, I went out there to discuss the width of the strike zone, and I never mentioned anything about balls and strikes," Maddon said after Friday's game. "I was trying to have a conversation. He immediately threw me out. I said, 'Listen, I'm not coming out here to argue. I just want to know what's going on because my guys are talking about how wide it is.' He didn't like me asking that question. I wanted to be respectful. I didn't yell. I walked out there and I thought I did it in a fashion where nobody else would know. I had no intention of getting kicked out right there. I just wanted to know what was going on, everybody keeps complaining about the width of the strike zone.
"So, I came back up [into the clubhouse] and watched it after that. And it was pretty egregious. There's no question but let the court of public opinion prevail here. I think anybody who would watch that and would be pretty objective about things, I'll take it. I'll take whatever they have to say. It's tough enough to beat Beckett but when he's getting pitches on the [inside batter's box] chalk lines, that makes it much more difficult."
The game was a match-up of two aces as James Shields took the loss while Josh Beckett struck out seven in six innings to collect his 13th and most-important win of the season.
"Obviously, under these circumstances, and I'm all for the fact that the Red Sox beat us tonight, God bless them, they beat us tonight. But, our hitters were at a great disadvatage today, they really were," Maddon said. "And I definitely saw it as being one-sided.
"Shields, I thought, did a great job. Beckett had good stuff tonight. But he definitely was helped by the width of the plate. There's no question. For me not to admit to that, I'm really taking away from the fight of our players tonight and their tenacity. Our players were very tenacious tonight. It was very difficult trying to protect a 21-to-22-inch plate," Maddon added of Wendelstedt's monitoring of the 17-inch plate.
Maddon said despite losing and falling to four games back of the Red Sox in the wild card race, he still holds out hope, especially if his team can rally for the final two games at Fenway this weekend.
"We're still in good position if we could get [Saturday] and Sunday's game," Maddon said. "That puts us in pretty good shape but it was made much more difficult by the actions of the home plate umpire." For more, visit the Red Sox team page at weei.com/redsox and the Full Count blog.
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Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
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Kevin Millar checks in to talk about the Red Sox offseason, Dustin Pedroia's injury, and Giancarlo Stanton
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Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
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Former Patriot and current NBC Sports Analyst, Rodney Harrison talks about how bad the Pats looked in a convincing win. The guys also tried to get him to talk about the Adrian Peterson accusations and he refused.
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We tackle four topics, all sparked by Jonathan Papelbon's "adjustment" towards his home crowd in Philly.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
The 100th Minor Details podcast revisits some old friends, as WEEI.com's Rob Bradford, Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen and MLB.com prospect guru Jim Callis, who were the guests on the first show in November 2010, join the show anew.
Rob Bradford is joined by Dr. Evan Schumer of Newton Wellesley Orthopaediac Associates to discuss exactly what kind of surgery was performed on Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, the recovery time that accompanies such a procedure and why the operation might be just what the doctored ordered.
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