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Rays surprised by Papelbon's remarks

Rays suprised by closer's remarks

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays players were surprised for the most part after hearing the comments made by Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon that "this thing isn't all settled and done" between Boston and Tampa Bay.

Papelbon made his comments on his weekly Comcast Sportsnet TV segment Wednesday night regarding what transpired June 5 in the past series between the teams in Boston, which resulted in suspensions and fines for players from both teams.

Scott Kazmir said the comments were "a little bit" uncalled for.

"I thought it was already done with, and it's a week later and we're still bringing it up," Kazmir said. "It's already over. It was just real surprising to everyone [in the Rays' clubhouse]. We were all talking about it when we walked in [Friday]."

Evan Longoria said he just heard about what Papelbon had said and did not read about it.

"It's pretty surprising, I guess," Longoria said. "But I don't care to comment too much on it. If it starts back up again, we'll deal with it when it comes. But we've got a lot more business to take care of and things to deal with than worry about what they're saying in the papers."

James Shields, who received a six-game suspension from the fracas, said Papelbon's comments surprised him.

"I thought after everything happened up there, it was kind of over with," Shields said. "But it is what it is, and we're going to go about our business. We think it's over and they don't. We'll have to see when we play them."

Rays manager Joe Maddon echoed the sentiments of his players.

"I believe in the freedom of speech, I always have," Maddon said. "And from our perspective, after it was over, it was over. And it's over for us. The next time we play them, we're approaching it in the same manner. Anybody can say what they want whenever they want. I have no problem with that.

"In a baseball sense, when the incident took place, we took care of it in what I thought was an appropriate way. And then we moved on. And I would think they would move on also. And I'm not going to get caught in a battle of rhetoric with anybody. As far as we're concerned, it's over."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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