Concerns about A-Rod's, Iwamura's confiscated bats dead

NEW YORK -- Bat-gate is over, as least as far as the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are concerned.

Third baseman Akinori Iwamura and his Yankees counterpart, Alex Rodriguez, both had their bats confiscated during New York's 9-6
win Saturday in one of the more bizarre sequences in the Bronx
since George Brett stormed the field in the "pine tar" game on
July 24, 1983.

"For me, it's over," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said Sunday.
"We got it out of our systems yesterday. They did what they did
and we did what we had to do."

First, Yankees manager Joe Torre asked if Iwamura's unusual
model, featuring a flat end rather than a rounded one, was legal.
Not to be outdone, Maddon asked the umps to examine Rodriguez's bat
an inning later.

A message was left Sunday seeking comment from the
commissioner's office, where both confiscated bats were sent for

Iwamura got a little revenge in the series finale, hitting a
two-run homer to help Tampa Bay beat New York 8-2.

"Nothing carried over from yesterday," Iwamura said through a
translator. "I haven't heard anything bad or wrong with my bats so
I didn't really think about it. I did everything I could today as a
new day."

Iwamura has been using the same model all season. It was checked
by umpires and deemed acceptable during a game at Arizona in June,
something Torre said he didn't know about.

"I'm assuming if he's still using it it's OK," Torre said.
"But I think everybody should've had a little flier to that
effect, too."

Torre asked the umpires about Iwamura's bat with runners at
first and second in the second inning and the count 2-2. Yankees
right-hander Ian Kennedy was making his first major league start,
but Torre said he wasn't trying to give the 22-year-old time to
settle down.

"It was the bat," he said. "That was the only thing that
stirred me to ask."

A-Rod's bat was confiscated in the third with a runner on second
and one out, and Maddon said it was strictly retaliatory.

"I looked at him during the course of the game," Maddon said
of Rodriguez. "He was smiling. I was smiling. He knew I had to do

Rodriguez also laughed it off after the game.

Brett wasn't amused at all when he bolted onto the field at
Yankee Stadium in 1983 after umpires disallowed his go-ahead homer
in the ninth inning for the Kansas City Royals because the pine tar
on his bat exceeded the 18-inch limit.

Days later, American League president Lee McPhail ruled that
Brett's home run should count. The rest of the game was played Aug.
18 that year, with Kansas City beating the Yankees 5-4.