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Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Shoebox" Umpire Derryl Cousins of Rays-Angels game hears rare words by Kazmir after.

(St. Pete Times): ANAHEIM, Calif. — "Manager Joe Maddon made his frustration with home-plate umpire Derryl Cousins very obvious during a seventh-inning pitching change Wednesday, complaining vociferously enough about the strike zone to be ejected.

  • questioning the veteran umpire's reputation and integrity, accusing him of making certain calls to make up for others.

"I never said anything like this about an umpire but that was just a crucial part of the game and you just don't do that," Kazmir said.

  • "Makeup calls or not makeup calls; call it when it's there. You know what I mean? You shouldn't change your strike zone just because of the count. It doesn't make sense."...
Kazmir said he had been told before the game by "veterans" on the Rays that Cousins
  • "Shoebox," a reference to the size of the strike zone.
With that idea in his head, Kazmir — who had 10 strikeouts, but all swinging — became increasingly frustrated as the afternoon wore on as the Rays completed a key road trip 3-6 and dropped to 38-28.
  • And it wasn't just the pitches that weren't called strikes he was upset about. Kazmir said that after Cousins didn't give him a third-strike call on an earlier at-bat to Willits, he called the first pitch to the next batter a strike, even though it was "literally almost in the dirt," and that wasn't right, either."...
From St. Petersburg Times by Marc Topkin, "Kazmir Rages at Umpire's Strike Zone after Rays Lose to Angels 4-2," 6/12/08

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