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August 25, 2013

Rangers not blaming David Murphy or Leonys Martin for collision

CHICAGO -- Center fielder Leonys Martin’s feelings might have been hurting more than his right ankle Sunday morning after his Texas Rangers teammates ribbed him early and often for his reaction after colliding with David Murphy on Saturday night.

Martin left the game with a slightly sprained right ankle as his foot rolled after colliding with Murphy on a pop-up to start the ninth inning.

Martin writhed in pain and initially needed assistance walking off the field before getting to the dugout under his own power without so much as a limp.

About 12 hours later, Martin was in the clubhouse declaring that he hopes to be ready to start tonight in the opener of a three-game series at Seattle. He also wasn’t casting any blame Murphy’s way.

“It’s something that happens all the time in baseball. We just couldn’t hear each other,” Martin said. “It doesn’t really bother me when I walk, but when I try to hit and twist, I feel something. When I collided, it hurt so badly that I thought I broke something.”

The collision was seen by Rangers players as part of the game, though Murphy became the subject to misguided vitriol on Twitter.

Murphy was in left field, center fielder Martin was shaded toward right field and both were playing deep to prevent a double when Paul Konerko lifted a towering pop-up toward shallow left-center.

As both players charged, Murphy was calling for the ball and raised his right hand to indicate that he was ready to catch the ball. Martin was also calling for it, and they collided as the ball fell into Murphy’s glove.

Murphy said on Saturday night that he couldn’t hear Martin but continued his pursuit of the ball so that it wouldn’t fall in.

Manager Ron Washington said that both players should have glanced toward the other, but it was easier for Martin to do because he was coming from right-center and would have had Murphy plainly in his line of sight.

Washington also said that the ball was in Murphy’s area and it appeared that Murphy was all but camped under the pop-up.

“You could say that Martin is the guy who if he calls it, you get out of the way,” Washington said. “But if I’m camped, you get out of the way. It’s something that happens. I’m not blaming Marty, and I’m not blaming Murph.”

-- Jeff Wilson

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