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Joe Maddon: Tension from June 10 plunking is ‘history’

07.25.13 at 6:02 pm ET

John Lackey will face the Rays for the first time since his plunking of Matt Joyce caused benches to clear at Tropicana field on June 10. The Rays, including manager Joe Maddon, a friend of Lackey’s, were extremely critical of the Sox pitcher following the incident. Joyce even cited Lackey’s intent to hit him as “bush league.”

A lot of time has passed since then, and Maddon insisted Thursday that the whole ordeal is water under the bridge.

“No man, that’s history. Very emotional at the moment. John [Lackey] is a good friend, he’s pitching well and I’m happy for him,” Maddon said. “Just would like to beat him tonight.”

First place is also on the line in Thursday’s series finale. While it is only July, Maddon didn’t downplay the importance of the game. When asked of the possibility of heading into the weekend in first place Maddon replied,

“It would be nice. It would be very nice to leave town that way.”

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