Paul, Iwamura address A-Rod tagout
Catcher has 'no reaction' to play; Aki says, 'Time to move on'
ST. PETERSBURG -- Akinori Iwamura and Josh Paul had no problem with Alex Rodriguez or Shelley Duncan on Sunday. So perhaps this ugly business between the Rays and the Yankees is really over.
In Saturday's game, Rodriguez ran through a stop sign at third base before stopping in front of Paul, on catching duty, allowing himself to be tagged out without sliding or crashing into the backstop.
All of the bad blood brewed from the past week originated with a home-plate collision and later escalated when Shelley Duncan went into Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura with spikes high. So there was some question if Rodriguez's intent Saturday had been to mock the Rays.
Neither Paul nor Iwamura were available after Saturday's game, but both addressed the play before Sunday's game against the Tigers.
Paul seemed surprised when asked about his reaction to Rodriguez's play.
"I have no reaction," Paul said. "No [he didn't think Rodriguez was making an exaggerated point]. If he was, I couldn't speak about it. That would just be pure speculation.
"The play was coming from right field, so I couldn't see. So I was surprised he wasn't to the plate yet. From what the other guys were saying there was a mix-up at third with the coach. I didn't see it that way. I've got other stuff to worry about."
Iwamura echoed Paul's sentiments.
"I think Alex Rodriguez knew he was out by five feet, so that's probably why he stopped," Iwamura said. "And probably, during the regular season [he would try to score]."
Iwamura also was asked if Duncan spoke to him Saturday.
"He said, 'Hello' to me and I said, 'Hello' back, when I reached first base," Iwamura said.
However, Duncan did not apologize.
"I wasn't expecting any apology from him," Iwamura said. "Because if he apologizes, that means he thinks what he did was intentional. Plus, this is baseball, and I don't need an apology. This matter is over, time for us to move on."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.