SS Yunel Escobar responded to constant booing in his return to Rogers Centre by hitting a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning that gave the Rays a late shot before they lost 7-5. But now Escobar, who played 21/2 seasons in Toronto, will have to answer to manager Joe Maddon because of his reaction afterward, a slow trot around the bases, a look toward the Jays dugout and a gesture when he crossed the plate — slashing his arms in an exaggerated safe sign. "I'm sure that was an emotional moment for him," Maddon said. "The booing probably promoted the reaction that he had and I'm going to talk to him about that (today). "I loved the fact that he competed like he did. We've been talking about how well he's been doing. He's been doing great. I love him on this team. I love him in the clubhouse. I love everything about this young man. But I still want to talk to him about the reaction after the home run. And I'm certain you're not going to see that again." Escobar, who was surprised by the fans' reaction, said the gesture was something he does often and didn't see it as controversial. "What I do at home plate I always do every time I hit a homer," he said, with Joel Peralta interpreting. "I don't want it to be something more than that. It's something that I do every time I cross home plate." He said he will tell Maddon as much: "I'll be here to talk to him about it. I just care about the team winning games." Blue Jays pitcher Casey Janssen, who gave up the homer, said he didn't take the gesture personally. "I don't think it was directed at me," he said. "We were good teammates, I had no problem with him, he had no problem with me. I did hear the chorus of boos and I'm sure he was a little frustrated at times. He's an emotional guy, he's a prideful guy. It was his moment to shine and he did his thing." And he didn't think Escobar meant much to offend his ex-mates.
Rays' Escobar irks Maddon with showboating after home run
Tampa Bay Times | May 21