Rays' manager Joe Maddon was fined for jawing at Indians' catcher Victor Martinez last week. Yesterday he jawed at the fine:
"That's totally unjust. It's totally unjust. I didn't incite anything; I was reacting. There's a difference between inciting and reacting. I think the reaction part of things, if that's going to be fined, then the inciter should also be fined. To indicate that I was the inciter, I think, is a total misconception, misappropriation, lack of good judgment on that situation."
Can you get fined for complaining about a fine? And what do you say if you do?
In any event, last week's Rays-Indians brouhaha, spurred by B.J. Upton's steal of second and third with his team down 9-0, is one of the storylines entering this week's series between the two teams. In its honor, Dennis Manoloff of the Cleveland Plain Dealer runs down baseball's unwritten rules. Among them are the well known dictates against showboating after home runs, headhunting, dropping bunts to break up no-hitters, stealing signs, and timing a pitcher from the on-deck circle. Those are always a fun read, if for no other reason than to think about all of the exceptions to them.
Nowhere on that list is not stealing bases when you're down nine runs, so a week later I'm still trying to figure out why the Indians took offense at Upton's steals. This is especially true in light of how awful the Indians' bullpen is. A 9-0 lead is by no means safe with that crew, so why wouldn't the Rays try to put the hammer down?