Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon was impressed but not pleased with Miguel Cabrera following a three-game series against Detroit.
"This guy is outstanding. He's wonderful," Maddon said of the Tigers' slugger on Sunday following a contentious weekend, via USA Today Sports. "I just wish he wouldn't cry so much."
The trouble between these two teams began on Friday when the reigning AL MVP winner appeared to mock Tampa Bay closer Fernando Rodney's bow-and-arrow save celebration. In the 10th inning of the next game, Rodney and Cabrera squared off. The All-Star closer threw a 98-mph pitch near the head of Cabrera before striking him out. After the punchout, Cabrera started to mouth off toward the Rays' dugout and didn't stop as Rodney pitched to Prince Fielder.
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The hostilities continued on Sunday as Tigers starter Rick Porcello plunked Ben Zobrist in the arm in the first inning. As Zobrist walked to first base with a smile, Cabrera walked towards the mound and stared at the Rays' second baseman.
"I thought it was absolutely uncalled for. Hopefully the league will take a look at that," Maddon said of Porcello's pitch following the Rays' win. "I was a little bit amazed or nonplussed by the reaction yesterday by the Detroit Tigers based on that one pitch that Fernando had made. We're not trying to hit anybody in that moment. No way. I was particularly unimpressed with Cabrera reacted to the whole moment."
Although the Tigers and Rays won't meet again during the regular season, both begin the week within 3.5 games of the leader in their divisions and in the thick of the AL Wild Card chase as well. Perhaps we can see some more crying and crowing from this bunch in October.
UPDATE: Rays Index pointed out that Cabrera may have called Rodney a gay slur after he struck out.