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Should the Rays have walked the bases loaded for Brad Boxberger?

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It’s an ugly dilemma. But what should the Tampa Bay Rays have done in an awful situation.

All-Star reliever Brad Boxberger was on the mound. The winning run was at third. No one was out.

The Rays chose to walk Jose Abreu and Melky Cabrera to try to set up a double play. It didn’t work. After reaching a 1-1 count, Boxberger walked Avisail Garcia on three pitchers to force home the winning run.

Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said he would make the move again. “If you have a double-play ball, you have two options to decide from,” Cash said.

“It’s not an ideal sitiuation,” Cash told the Tampa Bay Times. “You never want to put one of your best relievers in a jam with no margin for error. But we felt, or I felt, it was the best thing to do at the time.”

But Boxberger disagreed, saying the Rays should have walked Abreu but pitched to Cabrera.

“Absoutely,” Boxberger said. “I don’t really get walking Cabrera, but it’s not my choice. I’m not going to overstep my boundaries. It’s what he wanted to do.”

Of course, if Boxberger couldn’t throw a strike, it doesn’t matter.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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