05/09/07 7:01 PM ET
Notes: Crawford on would-be homer
Replays confirm missed call on center fielder's double
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
A day later Crawford could smile about the missed call, but he still was smarting.
"I'm not going to lie, that hurts, to have it actually clear the fence and come back," Crawford said. "I didn't sleep too well after that one."
The ball hit the top of the outfield wall, then sprang toward the second wall behind the center-field wall, and ricocheted back onto the field.
"When I was coming around first, I looked up and I'm like, 'That's a home run,'" Crawford said. "And I saw [Baltimore center fielder Corey Patterson] break it down, too, and I said, 'That's a home run.' I saw the umpire hold his hand up, two [bases]. And I'm like, 'Oh, here we go. Here we go.'"
Crawford knew the call was wrong, but he didn't argue.
"Because I know it's a useless cause," Crawford said. "Why argue? Why give myself a headache, when I know what's about to happen? I mean, you just already know for us, with our team, nothing gets reversed. I should have got kicked out of the game if you ask me. But I thought [manager] Joe [Maddon] was going to get kicked out of the game."
Crawford said he didn't plan on saying anything to the umpires.
"I'm just saying, I can't catch a break," Crawford said. "That's just how it is. That's how it is, man. You learn to live with those kinds of things, and keep going. Because I'll guarantee you, this won't be the last time something like this happens. ... They took a home run [away] from me last year. That was a home run inside the park, I was safe on that. I just need to stop hitting home runs."
The last year on June 1 in the fourth inning of the Rays' 8-6 loss to the O's at Camden Yards, Crawford was so upset after being called out that he stomped his left leg to the ground, resulting in a strained tendon in his left knee.
After being asked about the missed call, Maddon was asked whether he thought ballparks should have instant replay. The Rays manager said he thought it would be helpful for home run calls, but that everything else should be left alone.
Tropicana Field, for now: Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg was quoted in Monday's edition of The New York Times, saying Tropicana Field "has a shelf life of five years."
The Rays still have 20 years on their lease at 17-year-old Tropicana Field, prompting Sternberg to say, "It's sort of like living in a house or an apartment. At some point, it just pays to move, rather than fix it up."
However, he told The Tampa Tribune that the franchise would never leverage a threat of getting a new stadium or moving. But he went on to tell the Tribune that within the next decade -- and not the next five years -- the organization probably will begin to pursue a new stadium.
"It's a real issue for us," Sternberg told the Tribune. "It's going to remain one. As time goes by, we're going to have to focus on it."
Sternburg's ownership group has pumped approximately $17 million into improving the Trop thus far, which is a good indication that the Rays' owner is sincere about his intentions.
"It's like they say, you follow the money," Sternberg told the Tribune. "If we were coming in there with the idea of trying to get out of there, I wouldn't have put two cents into the place. We'd be complaining left and right, and looking to get out of here."
Fossum ready: Casey Fossum will start for the Rays on Thursday night, and hopes to build on Friday night's performance against the A's when he had a quality start and left with a 2-1 lead, but got a no-decision.
"I think Casey's been pitching pretty well, overall," Maddon said. "The one blip in Oakland, but overall, I like the fact he's throwing a lot more strikes with his fastball. I think his pitch counts have been more under control. He's going deeper into the game, I like that.
"He just has this better sense of calm during the action. This has been going on all spring, coming off the injury and everything. He came back faster than we had anticipated. And I like his game right now. I'm expecting him to pitch well."
"I felt like last outing, I had three walks. If I cut those three walks down, I could have bought myself another inning," Fossum said. "I think an important thing for me is just getting in a rhythm early. Try to get it going from the first batter and get into that rhythm in the first inning. And if I'm in that rhythm, and I'm hitting my spots in that first inning as opposed to the next inning. I've pitched against these guys once this year. I'll go back and look at some film. The game's still kind of fresh in my mind. I'll go from there."
This and that: This and that: Maddon said Akinori Iwamura could be back playing in Minor League games -- preparing for his return to the Major League club -- as early as next Wednesday. The Rays third baseman is on the disabled list with a right oblique strain. ... The Rays will have a unique promotion when they host the Marlins on May 18, as it will be "Legends of Wrestling Night" at Tropicana Field. The Rays will bring in a dozen former World Wrestling Entertainment stars, and all will be making appearances before, during and after the game.
Salas statement: Juan Salas, who received a 50-game suspension Monday after testing positive for a performance enhancing substance, released a statement on Wednesday about his situation.
"I deeply regret that this situation has occurred and appreciate the outpouring of support around me," Salas said. "I also regret any distraction or embarrassment that I have caused my family, my teammates, the Devil Rays organization and the fans. I remain fully committed to the Devil Rays' organization, and to the game that I love."
Up next: The Rays will wrap up their three-game series with the O's on Thursday night in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest at Camden Yards. Fossum will start for the Rays and will be opposed by right-hander Daniel Cabrera.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.