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Rays' Maddon wishes ump didn't call Price a 'liar'

Published:   |   Updated: May 1, 2013 at 11:15 AM
KANSAS CITY -

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday had he known it would turn into such an ordeal he would have been more “proactive” Sunday to defuse the incident between LHP David Price and home-plate umpire Tom Hallion.

“I take a lot of responsibility in that moment by not being proactive,” Maddon said. “I didn't read it right, and I should have read it better. I was upset with myself when I found out about all this.”

Major League Baseball is investigating the incident in which Price said Hallion cursed him as Price walked off the field after the seventh inning and the barrage of tweets from Price, RHP Jeremy Hellickson and LHP Matt Moore after the game that attacked Hallion's character.

Both Price and Hellickson said Tuesday they had not heard from MLB. Hellickson added that he expects to hear from the commissioner's office. The players can be fined for tweets.

Some Rays fans think Hallion should be suspended for igniting the incident.

“For me I don't know that's a suspendable kind of thing,” Maddon said. “I think that's something that maybe needs to be talked out between parties, but to suspend somebody for that … everybody wants to fire people, everybody wants to suspend people. I'm not one of those guys.”

Price reiterated his stance Tuesday.

“You can't talk to me that way, period. That was my whole thing,” Price said. “It wasn't the strike call. It had nothing to do with calls that he made. It's what he said.”

As for being called a liar by Hallion, Price said, “I'm not a liar, period.”

Maddon said he did not hear Hallion drop an f-bomb on Price but knows things are sometimes said on the field during a game that players, managers and umpires later regret.

“There's so much emotion in a major league baseball game,” Maddon said. “There are some things that I've said on the field to an umpire and even to a player at certain times that I wish I could take back at different times. I don't know if that's exactly what was said, because I didn't hear it with my own ears and I'm not calling anyone a liar. When emotions are peaking like that, a lot of things get misconstrued.”

As for Hallion calling Price a liar, Maddon said, “I would almost believe that he would rather have said something else.”

Given the fallout from the incident, which Maddon said has received “way too much traction already,” Price was asked if it would be uncomfortable the next time Hallion works the plate during one of his games.

“Not for me,” he said.

Maddon said he hopes Hallion or any other umpire doesn't decide to give Price a tighter strike zone.

“I want to believe it will not,” Maddon said. “At that point you're impugning the integrity of officials in a game in a sport that's part of the American fabric. I wouldn't want to believe that that would be true. I don't ever want to believe that, and I don't believe it will be true.”

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