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Original Issue

Long Relief

When a quick stop in the dugout bathroom isn't so quick

As the Rays tried to come back from a 3--1 deficit against the A's in the eighth inning last Friday in Oakland, closer Fernando Rodney had something other than a rally on his mind: How am I going to get out of this bathroom? Rodney entered the dugout lav earlier in the inning, and as he closed the door, the lock broke. After 15 minutes trapped inside, Rodney was freed by a maintenance worker with a crowbar. During his enforced powder break, the Rays scored twice (they'd lose 4--3), prompting manager Joe Maddon to say afterward, "We should have kept him in there."

Turns out dugout johns are dangerous places. To wit:

2009: As if fanning three times and flying out to end the game wasn't bad enough, Diamondbacks outfielder Chris Young spent 30 minutes marooned in the bathroom adjacent to the dugout at Nationals Park after the game.

2008: The visitors' dugout at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Ala., trapped Tennessee Smokies pitching coach Dennis Lewallyn for several innings—which could have been avoided had he just followed his boss's advice. "I don't ever shut the door, so I don't have to worry about it," said Smokies manager Buddy Bailey.

2004: A Triple A game was delayed for 20 minutes while Indianapolis outfielder Jeff Liefer tried to extricate himself from a rest room. The lock had been busted the night before when a frustrated teammate pummeled the door with a bat. As the Indians finally took the field, the opposing team, the Louisville Bats, presented Liefer with a roll of toilet paper.

2003: Todd Self, an Astros Class A farmhand, was so upset after making an out that he slammed the WC door behind him. It jammed, and Self's teammates were too busy having a good time to help him. "I knew if I could get something slid under the door I could pop it out, but my teammates were laughing," said Self, who had to be replaced. "I kept saying, 'Get me some scissors or something.' But they didn't."




The Mets traded outfielder Marlon Byrd to the Pirates a few hours before they played the Phillies on Marlon Byrd T-shirt night.