NEW YORK -- Sean Rodriguez was back with the Rays on Saturday after enduring a personal calamity at his condominium in Redington Beach, Fla.
The problem stemmed from a flooding incident caused by the fire alarm sprinkler system going off. Rodriguez ended up missing the team flight and did not reach New York until just before the end of Friday night's game against the Yankees.
Prior to Saturday afternoon's game against the Yankees, Rodriguez explained what happened.
"I was getting dressed, maybe five minutes from getting out the door, and as I'm coming out of the closet, I closed my closet door," Rodriguez said. "The sprinkler just started to go off."
Rodriguez's clothes for the trip were lying on the bed ready to be put into his suitcase for the trip when the sprinkler system went off.
"So I started grabbing everything to get it out of the room," Rodriguez said. "I didn't know what else to do. Just trying to make sure that whatever was in the room that might get soaked, I got it out of there."
Eventually the fire department arrived, at which point Rodriguez had to defend what happened and any role he had in causing the malfunction.
"I didn't do anything," Rodriguez told the firemen. "I don't smoke, never smoked my whole life. I was ironing, but I was done."
Rodriguez said the insurance adjuster is scheduled to be at his condo at the first part of the week, and he's hopeful that will mean the carpet will be quickly replaced.
Maddon calls for clarification of balk rule
NEW YORK -- Mariano Rivera picked off Rays center fielder B.J. Upton at first base in the ninth inning of Friday night's loss to the Yankees. Afterward, Upton maintained that Rivera balked, which was a contention backed by Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon.
"Yes, sure it was [a balk]," Maddon said.
Maddon railed against Rivera's move and noted that the balk rule needs to be better defined.
"What is a balk?" Maddon said. "It is really one of the more ambiguous rules in the game."
Ironically, Rays pitchers have been called for balks on three recent occasions.
"In honesty, the ones that have been called against us weren't balks and the ones that weren't called [by opposing teams] were," Maddon said. "That's the point that we need to get clarified, because it's really an ambiguous rule."
Maddon spelled out what he's seen opposing pitchers try to thwart the Rays' running attack.
"The way they break their front knee, they sit and they break their front knee, then turn their front shoulder and go to first -- that is a balk," Maddon said. "The spirit of the rule is the intent to deceive the runner or not."
Maddon misses out on chance to see Yogi
NEW YORK -- Yankees great Yogi Berra was scheduled to participate in Saturday's Old-Timers' game at Yankee Stadium, but he could not attend after taking a fall. Rays manager Joe Maddon has become friends with Berra, so he was disappointed at the news that Berra would not be at the stadium.
"Yogi got hurt last night; he's on the Old-Timers' DL," Maddon said. "I was going to have Ziggy [team secretary Jeff Ziegler] take a picture of me and him in this office. I have this book someone gave me about Yogi-isms I was going to get him to autograph."
When asked if the Yankees had to make an official roster move to accommodate Berra going on the "Old-Timers' DL," Maddon quipped: "I think they called up [former Yankees slugger] Moose Skowron."
Joaquin Benoit surrendered a solo home run to Nick Swisher on Friday night, which means that all three of the runs allowed by the Rays' right-hander this season have come via solo home runs. ... A documentary on Don Zimmer will run Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET on MLB Network. ... The Rays have signed their 10th-round selection from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, outfielder Deshun Dixon from Terry (MS) High School; the Rays have now signed 25 of their 53 picks. ... The Rays are the only Major League team to have used just five starting pitchers this season (James Shields, Matt Garza, David Price, Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rays are the first team in four years to use as few as five starting pitchers through the season's first half since the 2006 Mariners.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.