|ESPN.com: Buster Olney||[Print without images]|
According to Price, he was walking off the field after the seventh inning of what was then a 3-3 game when Hallion -- with no provocation -- "yells at me to throw the ball over the f-ing plate."
Hallion, informed by a pool reporter of Price's accusation, denied adamantly that he used a curse word.
"I'll come right out bluntly and say he's a liar," Hallion said, voice raised. "I'm denying what he said I said, pretty strongly. I'm just telling you, he's lying. It's plain and simple."
And Price responded to that denial by maintaining that Hallion was the one lying, and pointed to the reaction of his teammates -- including the unlikely ejection of normally mild-mannered Jeremy Hellickson -- as proof.
"I don't know what he thinks he heard, you can ask anybody that was sitting in the dugout and they all erupted as they should have when you hear an umpire speak to a player that way," Price said. "Something has to be done about that, and that's why I told you guys (the media).
"That's terrible. If my own dad doesn't speak to me that way, some frickin' umpire's not going to speak to me that way."
"I didn't say one word to him, I didn't even look at him. (The other Rays) said he stared me down the entire way into the dugout," Price said. "That's absolutely terrible. You don't speak to people that way. I didn't disrespect him."
Hallion, the crew chief with 20-plus years of umpiring experience, in 1999 was suspended three games for bumping a player.
He confirmed that Price didn't address him, which raises the significant question why he said anything -- curse words or otherwise -- to Price.
"He might not have said anything but he certainly gave enough body language to insinuate that he was" angry, Hallion explained.
And what did he say?
"I said, 'Just throw the ball.' That's all I said to him," Hallion said.
Several Rays who were in the dugout confirmed Price's version of the events, though they wouldn't do so with their names attached, likely out of concern of retribution from other umpires. Manager Joe Maddon, who joked about Hellickson getting ejected, didn't mention the controversy in his postgame comments.
|Connie Mack was always in a suit and tie even if his counterpart was not.|
After banging an RBI double off The Wall, Mike Carp stood on second base, turned to face the dugout and flexed both biceps -- a nod to outfielder Jonny Gomes, who struck the pose after his eighth-inning double April 20 in the first game played at Fenway Park following the Marathon bombings and the Watertown manhunt.
Gomes may have been first to invoke "The Flex," symbolic of the "Boston Strong" rallying cry and captured on the cover of Sports Illustrated last week, but it has been copied by others. First baseman Mike Napoli was spotted doing it after hitting a double Friday night, and Carp took his turn yesterday.
"If it makes the cover of SI, I'm sure it's going to friggin' stick," Gomes said after the Red Sox won their fifth consecutive game and tied a franchise record with 18 April victories. "It's kind of international, Boston as a whole. Granted, she's still just a flex, but I think it plays pretty heavy in this area."