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.
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
Fauria is still down in Houston and calls live from NRG Stadium to give his take on what will go down later on in Super Bowl 51. He likes the Pats and gives his reasons why, but also gets into the scene in Houston all week, famous people he met and why he is tired out from a wild week.
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Anna Horford, sister of Boston Celtics Al Horford, makes her Boston radio debut. She talks about Twitter and reacting to mean tweets about her brother. She also gives us her thoughts on the city of Boston and racism.
Bradford checks in from spring training to give us all the media dirt he can dig up...oh, and talk some baseball too.
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Hour 4. Gerry went for a walk and discovered a nude beach.
Hour 3. Gerry went for a jog and dipped his clothes in the pool. Trenni didn't want to report on Swihart's throwing problems.
Hour 2. Shaughnessy writes that the 2004 Red Sox is a better story than the Patriots. Headlines with Kirk.
A. Sherrod Blakely joins Pete Sheppard and Andy Hart to talk about the Jimmy Butler to Boston rumors and the deal to send DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans.
Pete and Andy fill in for Glenn, Lou and Christian. The guys talk Patriots and try to figure out where Jimmy G will play next year, and what the Patriots will get for him.
Pete Sheppard and Andy Hart fill in for OMF and talk about last night's joke of an All Star Game, the rumors about Jimmy Butler to the Celtics and DeMarcus Cousins getting traded to New Orleans.
An epic battle royale between Holley and Keefe, who are completely on the opposite side of the fence concerning Demarcus Cousins. These guys have never agreed on this player, and today after the trade they finally had it out.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe discuss the trade that sent DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans, and why with such a low price were the Celtics not in on him? They take your reactions, plus, where do the Celtics go to get better from here?
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Kirk Minihane sits down with Michael Holley for the first time on the podcast. Kirk and Michael have hosted shows together in the past but have never had a candid conversation about WEEI. Kirk and Michael talk about Holley's career in radio, his best selling books, and what his assessment of the current WEEI is. There are a lot of interesting behind the scene nuggets for anybody who has listened to WEEI over the years. This episode is brought to you by hellofresh.com. For Enough About Me listeners go to hellofresh.com and use the promo code kirk35 for $35 off your first week of deliveries.
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Ken Laird and Chris Curtis wrap up the week with a review of Thursday and Friday's K&C shows.
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