World Series Notebook
Hinske Replaces Floyd on Rays' Roster
Monday, October 27, 2008
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 26 -- A shoulder injury to veteran designated hitter Cliff Floyd led the Tampa Bay Rays to make a roster move before Game 4 of the World Series, but it was also a move that could give them a strategic benefit in both Games 4 and 5.
The Rays removed Floyd from their roster Sunday and added Eric Hinske, like Floyd a veteran left-handed hitter with ample power. However, unlike Floyd, Hinske is a candidate to see time on defense, as he has played both corner infield and both corner outfield positions.
Although Hinske wasn't in Manager Joe Maddon's Game 4 starting lineup, he was available to be used late in games as a pinch hitter or to be double-switched into a game, especially during the games played in Philadelphia under National League rules.
"We hate losing Cliff. Cliff has been a big part of what we're doing," Maddon said. "But [Hinske] has been ready, so we're going to . . . use him in those different roles."
Despite hitting 20 homers during the regular season, Hinske, a reserve on the Boston Red Sox' 2007 championship team, was inactive for both the American League Championship Series and the first three games of the World Series.
Two years ago, Major League Baseball put in a new rule for the postseason allowing teams to make in-series roster moves, with the stipulation that any player deactivated in the middle of a series also was ineligible for the following round.
"The Rays followed all the proper protocols, and the move was approved by us," MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said. "Their doctor spoke to our doctor and all the documentation checked out. It was very clearly an injury situation."
Not Always Fan Friendly
Maddon, a native of Hazleton, Pa., has dined at Italian restaurants in Philadelphia and has been out in the city for lunch this week, and he said Phillies fans have mostly been cordial to him. On Saturday night, he even teased a group of fans behind the Rays' dugout for drinking Coors Light, calling the beer "unfashionable for a Philly dude."
But not all of the back and forth has been pleasant. At a news conference before Game 4 Sunday, Maddon said some fans have overstepped the bounds of friendly banter and have taunted his family members. In fact, he said a mustard packet was thrown at his granddaughter, a 2-year-old named Coral Ray.
"If you want to be vociferous with us, I am fine with that," he said. "If you want to have arguments about the Coors Light versus Rolling Rock, I'm good with that. But leave the families alone."