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Rich Hill took his time returning to the mound so the L.A. crowd could boo Yuli Gurriel longer


After finishing his warm-up tosses before the top of the second inning of Tuesday night’s Game 6 of the World Series., Dodgers starter Rich Hill took a rather long time, as described by Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times, getting back to the mound to face Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel. That gave the fans some extra time to send more boos Gurriel’s way.

Gurriel, of course, mocked Dodgers starter Yu Darvish after homering off of him in Game 3 by pulling at the corners of his eyes to slant them and using the word “chinito.” For that, Gurriel received a five-game suspension effective at the start of the 2018 regular season. Hill, though, wanted to send his own message and give the L.A. fans some time to send theirs as well. Gurriel popped out to first base.

Hill did it again in the bottom of the fourth before Gurriel stepped to the plate with two outs. He flied out to right field to end the inning. Gurriel finished the evening 1-for-4.

After the game, Hill confirmed his motivation. Via McCullough, Hill said, “That was my silent gesture” to condemn Gurriel.

The crowd will certainly let Gurriel have it again on Wednesday night throughout Game 7. Darvish will get the start for the Dodgers and will have a chance to face Gurriel for the first time since the incident. Gurriel has been batting fifth throughout the World Series so it could be another second inning affair.

Evan Longoria: ‘I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base’

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The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.