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Rays notes: MLB investigating squabble with umpire

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Published:   |   Updated: April 30, 2013 at 09:42 AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -

Major League Baseball is investigating Sunday's incident between Tampa Bay Rays LHP David Price and home plate umpire Tom Hallion that resulted in a war of words and sparked a barrage of angry tweets by Price, RHP Jeremy Hellickson and LHP Matt Moore.

All parties involved could face some form of discipline.

The league is looking into Hallion's actions that provoked the incident. Price was upset with not getting a called third strike on White Sox CF Dewayne Wise in the bottom of the seventh inning. After retiring Wise on a comebacker on the next pitch for the last out, Price said Hallion told him to “throw the ball over the f-ing plate.”

Hallion denied using a curse word.

“I'll come right out bluntly and say he's a liar,” Hallion told a pool reporter.

Hallion later said, “I said, 'Just throw the ball.' That's all I said to him.”

Hallion also said Price didn't say anything to him as he walked off the field.

“He might not have said anything but he certainly gave enough body language to insinuate that he was (ticked) off,” Hallion said.

That remark could draw a fine or suspension from the MLB office, because umpires are not supposed to be confrontational.

Price, Moore and Hellickson also can face punishment of some sort because MLB has rules against players sending tweets that question an umpire's impartiality.

Price tweeted: “Someone give me the definition of a coward please.”

Hellickson tweeted: “There's only one person lying about all this and his name starts with a T and rhymes with pom.”

Moore tweeted: “Unbelievable someone would mis remember so quickly. Stay in your lane. Nobody cares what you have to say. #tom.”

A decision on any discipline could come today.

Scott is back
DH Luke Scott on Monday flew to Kansas City and is expected to be activated from the disabled list in time for tonight's game.

Scott, who has not played since suffering a right calf strain March 22, played five games with the Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs in a rehab assignment that ended Sunday.

DH/1B Shelley Duncan is expected to be designated for assignment to clear room on the 25-man roster.

The question is where will Scott fit into the offense, now that 1B James Loney has taken over the No. 5 spot in the lineup?

“What it means from Scotty's perspective, putting him in the middle somewhere, getting him hot and getting him driving in runs like he can, it just makes us even better,” manager Joe Maddon said on Sunday in Chicago.

Getting him hot is the key phrase. Scott has not faced major-league pitching since March 22, when he last played in a spring training game. And while his goal with the Stone Crabs was to get his swing “on the fastball,” those were still Class A fastballs.

Maddon said that is a concern.

“I don't know where he's at, either, right now. To get a guy back off the DL is nice, but it doesn't necessarily mean he's ready to contribute like he can when he's playing on a consistent basis,” Maddon said. “What it means, overall, a lot of RBIs in the middle. Is he ready to do that yet? I'm not certain, but it definitely makes us better.”

Duncan is batting .182 with two home runs and six RBIs in 55 at-bats over 20 games. Maddon will use 1B/LF Sean Rodriguez and 2B Ryan Roberts as his right-handed DH.

Noteworthy
The Rays can tie the team record for consecutive games with a homer at 15 tonight against the Royals and former Rays RHP James Shields, who has been known to serve up the long ball. … UTL Ben Zobrist was 5-for-10 with a double, a home run and four RBIs during the two wins in Chicago after beginning the series 0-for-9 with three strikeouts during the first two games, both losses. … The Rays' wins Saturday and Sunday marked their first back-to-back road victories of the season.

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