Found July 22, 2013 on
Boston Sports Then & Now:
The Red Sox and Rays are preparing for a humongous late July 4-game series starting in Fenway Park tonight and the importance of this series shows how much the landscape of the AL East has changed over only the last 9 months. Last year neither team even made the playoffs (The Yankees and Orioles did) but it would be, at least to me, a shock if neither of these teams made the post-season by the end of the year. The two teams play this important set that may go a long way in determining who plays in the wild card play-in game and who gets a rest in home field advantage in at least the first round.
The Sox and Rays have been at each others throats for years but the stakes are finally high in this rivalry
The Red Sox and Rays have had a rivalry on some level since the Rays came into the league. There have been numerous fights between the two clubs between 1998 and as recent as this season when the Sox and Rays exchanged hit-batsmen and cleared the benches in a series in Tampa earlier this year. The rivalry heated up in 2008 when the Rays jumped onto the scene by winning the AL East and beating the Red Sox in 7 games in the ALCS to clinch their first ever American League pennant. Terry Francona said that the 2008 Sox may have been the best team that he managed in Boston but the Sox only managed to go 8-10 against Tampa during the regular season and then lost a chance at back-to-back AL pennants in the 7-game loss.
You could argue however that the reason the Rays, and not the Yankees, is the big rivalry of the AL East now is because how the division is set up for the future. Both the Sox and the Rays have stacked farm systems, particularly with young pitchers. While the Orioles have a lot of firepower in their lineup they have struggled to put together a young pitching staff to take them deep into the playoffs. The Yankees obviously have long-term issues and who knows what’s going on in Toronto. Right now the Red Sox and the Rays are easily in the best positions to survive the AL East long term.
Both squads have players that the other team’s fan base loves to hate. Both David Price and Jon Lester rub opposing fans the wrong way with their constant moping and complaining on the mound. John Lackey and Matt Joyce went at it earlier this year after Joyce pimped a long foul ball and Lackey took exception. I am personally not a big fan of Joe Maddon who I feel is insufferable at times with his holier than thou attitude (you never hit anyway on purpose, ever? Really Joe?). You can argue that above it all both of these teams play the game right. They are well-coached, disciplined teams that play a brand of baseball that is fun to watch. That is what has made the rivalry so much fun.
It’s clear that the Red Sox and the Rays have been the two best teams in the AL East so far this season. Every single one of these games is a must-win. These two teams don’t like each other but they respect each other. The Red Sox/Rays rivalry is a breath of fresh air after near a decade of Red Sox/Yankees, Red Sox/Yankees when a lot of times the baseball wasn’t even all that good. Enjoy the games, hang on every pitch because they’ll go a long way in deciding the AL East division champs come the end of the season.
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Mariano Rivera has jogged from the
right-field bullpen to the Fenway Park mound a number of times in his 18-year
career. He's probably never been greeted like he was by the rival Red Sox fans
The Tampa Bay Rays kept outfielder Wil Myers out of yesterday's lineup as a precaution. The rookie is dealing with a left wrist injury, but manager Joe Maddon doesn't believe the ailment is significant, telling Bill Chastain of MLB.com that he views it as a "day-to-day thing." Maddon added that he expects Myers to suit up and return to Tampa Bay's lineup today...
TORONTO (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Rays activated first baseman James Loney off the paternity list Sunday and optioned infielder Ryan Roberts to Triple-A Durham.
Loney had missed Tampa Bay's first two games following the All-Star break after the birth of his first child, a son. He's batting .315 with nine homers and 43 RBIs.
Rookie outfielder Wil Myers was held out of Tampa Bay...
(USATSI Photo)The Red Sox announced two major developments among their pitching corps: 1.) Andrew Bailey is done for the year, electing to have shoulder surgery on Wednesday; and 2.) Clay Buchholz will travel to Florida today to get a second opinion from renowned arm guru Dr. James Andrews. Bailey will be out at least 12 months—depending on the extent of his surgery and its anybody...
Boston Red Sox Daily links: ESPN Boston http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogpost?blogname=bostonred-sox&id=29318 In his first 2 MLB starts Brandon Workman has proved he belongs. WEEI http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2013/07/23/source-dustin-pedroia-red-sox-agree-to-seven-year-contract-extension/ It looks like the Sox have Pedey for a while now...
Matt Moore pitched a two-hitter for his first career shutout and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 3-0 on Monday night to move within a half-game of first place in the AL East.
Ben Zobrist had three hits and James Loney drove in two runs for the Rays, who earned their sixth consecutive victory and won for the 18th time in 20 games.
In his first start since pitching a scoreless...
There are few greater sounds in the world for Red Sox fans than the first few chords of “Dirty Water” by The Standells. The beginning of that sound, played after every Sox win at Fenway Park, sounds even better when it’s accompanied by deafening applause brought on by a walk-off win.
There’s been plenty of that at Fenway this season, as the Red Sox have nine walk-off wins...
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)This was the Jon Lester we knew and loved at the start of the 2013 season. Throwing strikes, showing command, lasting into the seventh inning. Lester went 6 1/3 innings, giving up just two runs, striking out eight and—significantly—walking nobody in a 6-2 win by the Carmine Hose. A mixture of good and bad baserunning characterized the Boston offense....
Red Sox righthander Clay Buchholz was in Gulf Breeze, Fla., today to meet with Dr. James Andrews. The verdict? Dr. Andrews agrees with the Red Sox that Buchholz has only inflammation in the bursa sac of his shoulder and can pitch without fear of further injury.
“Clay comes back, I think, with a little bit more peace of mind and he’ll continue on the throwing program that’s...
After six weeks of false hope and maddening disappointment, Clay Buchholz will turn to the foremost authority on shoulder injuries to determine exactly what is causing his right shoulder to keep flaring.
Today, Buchholz has an appointment with Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla.
It usually is an ominous sign whenever a pitcher meets with Andrews. But Buchholz’ trip comes at the...
Sunday was supposed to be Jon Lester‘s turn in the Red Sox rotation, but his first start since the All-Star break was pushed back until Tuesday night in order to give the lefty some more time off.
Instead, it will be Ryan Dempster on the mound for Boston, as the team tries to take the rubber match of a three-game series against the Yankees.
Dempster is 5-8 this season with a...
Extra rest helped Jon Lester slow down the Tampa Bay surge that nearly knocked Boston out of first place.
After his start was pushed back two days, Lester matched his season high with eight strikeouts and overcame homers by Wil Myers and Evan Longoria as the Red Sox won 6-2 on Tuesday night and moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Rays in the AL East.
This game was more important than...
Boston Red Sox Daily Links WEEI: http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2013/07/22/flashback-why-clay-buchholz-offers-a-silver-lining-to-allen-webster/ Allen Webster got knocked out of his last appearance in AAA in the second inning, but he isn't the only prospect the Sox have had that has had some issues. http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball...
While the Boston Red Sox sit atop the AL East, they will have to hold off one of baseball's hottest teams over the next four days in order to maintain their lead.
The visiting Tampa Bay Rays try to keep rolling in Monday night's series opener against the Red Sox.
Tampa Bay (58-41) has outscored opponents 94-44 in going a major league-best 17-2 since June 29, climbing to...
Note: Pitching matchups are subject to change
Monday, July 22 @ 7:10 PM
Matt Moore, LHP (13-3, 3.44) vs Brandon Workman, RHP (0-0, 5.40)
TV: NESN, MLB.tv
Radio: Red Sox Radio Network, MLB Gameday Audio
Tuesday, July 23 @ 7:10 PM
Roberto Hernandez, RHP (5-10, 4.90) vs Jon Lester, LHP (8-6, 4.58)
TV: NESN, MLB.tv
Radio: Red Sox Radio Network, MLB Gameday...