Carl Crawford heckled in return to Tampa Bay, says Rays partied more than Red Sox

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Craig already wrote about Carl Crawford’s return to Tampa Bay being like seeing an ex-girlfriend at a party, but it’s also worth noting that many of his ex-boyfriends didn’t treat Crawford all that well.

There was a solid amount of booing as he stepped to the plate for the first time, although eventually the rest of the crowd drowned it out with cheers and applause.

And as Crawford told reporters after the game, the crowd around him in left field was particularly harsh, calling him a traitor for leaving the Rays and mocking his poor numbers with the Red Sox.

Before the game Crawford was asked to compare his time in Tampa Bay with his early impression of Boston and replied:

It’s all baseball. But it’s a little different. It’s more a younger team [in Tampa], so it was more like party central all the time. [In Boston] it’s a little more calmer, a little more conservative. That’s probably the biggest difference.

That and about $100 million in payroll.

Marlins option Tom Koehler to Triple-A, recall Hunter Cervenka

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Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.

Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.

Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.

Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are interested in Pat Neshek

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At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.

Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.