MIAMI (AP) – Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon criticized a $500 fine he received from Major League Baseball following his team’s recent confrontation with the Cleveland Indians.

The standoff occurred May 17, when the Indians’ Kerry Wood threw behind B.J. Upton, then threw his next pitch inside. Cleveland catcher Victor Martinez, who dodged an inside pitch earlier in the series, got into a shouting match with the Rays’ bench, and both dugouts emptied.

The only fine levied was against Maddon for inciting the situation.

“That’s totally unjust,” Maddon said on Sunday before the final game of the Rays’ series at Florida. “I didn’t incite anybody. I was reacting. I think the reaction part of the thing – if that’s going to be fined, the inciter should also be fined. To indicate I was the inciter is a total misconception, misappropriation, lack of good judgment.”

The teams meet again for a four-game series beginning Monday in Cleveland.

Maddon said he anticipates no carryover in ill will.

“Based on the way the league has acted, I think both sides understand what’s going on,” he said. “We just want to go out and play baseball. We’re not out to hurt anybody.”

Maddon noted the reigning AL champions have played well since the confrontation. They won that game against Cleveland, then four of their next six to begin play Sunday above .500 for the first time since April 13.

“We like a little bit of a thunderstorm now and then,” Maddon said. “I’ve never doubted that we’ve been together, but sometimes that gene remains dormant a bit, and all of a sudden it has to be excited.”

The Rays have lost their past 13 games in Cleveland, where their record is 12-34.


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