It’s time for the ALCS!

October 10, 2008 at 2:45 pm | Posted in Baseball, Rays | 6 Comments

It seems that I hit a sore spot with some National League fans after my post about the American League’s superiority yesterday, although some N.L. fans did agree with me.  When you look at the A.L.’s 149-103 record in inter-league play this year and its recent dominance of the World Series and All Star game, it’s obvious that the American League is better, but I have to admit that I wrote the post knowing that it would result in some heated discussion.  I set a goal for the blog to get 300 hits yesterday, and the post helped me to reach that goal!

Now it’s time to focus on the American League Championship Series.  I have run out of words to describe how excited I am about the Rays and this series.  No matter who wins the series, I know that it’s going to go down as one of the all-time classic ALCS matchups.  The Rays and Red Sox have a huge rivalry, and the games that they’ve played against each other this year have been incredibly intense and entertaining.

Let’s take a look back at some Tampa Bay vs. Boston history:

  • In 2000, the rivalry intensified when Pedro Martinez plunked Gerald Williams with a pitch, inciting a bench-clearing brawl.
  • Later in 2000, the Devil Rays beat the Red Sox to eliminate them from playoff contention.  After the game-winning strikeout, Roberto Hernandez waved goodbye to the Red Sox from the mound.
  • In 2002, after Devil Rays pitcher Ryan Rupe hit a couple of Boston batters, Trot Nixon’s bat “slipped” out of his hands and flew towards the pitcher’s mound.
  • In 2005, after several rounds of the teams retaliating against one another by hitting each other’s batters, Curt Schilling went on a radio station and leveled several insults against Lou Piniella.  Piniella then laid the verbal smackdown on Schilling, telling him that he had forgotten more about baseball than the loud-mouth pitcher ever knew.
  • In a spring training game in 2006, Julian Tavarez demonstrated what a scumbag he is by punching Joey Gathright in the head after a close play at the plate.  My man Joey then told the media that Tavarez hits like a girl.
  • In June of this year, Coco Crisp slid with his spikes up into second base, intentionally trying to injure Akinori Iwamura.  When James Shields responded by hitting Crisp with a pitch the next day, Crisp charged the mound and started throwing punches at Shields.  The ensuing brawl resulted in the suspensions of many key Rays players, and it could have really hurt their chances to win the division.

Despite all of this, I do have a lot of respect for the Red Sox.  The only current players on their team that I really despise are Coco Crisp and Jonathan Papelbon.  I don’t like Papelbon’s cocky attitude, how he dances around, or the threats that he made against the Rays earlier this year.  I do admire David Ortiz, despite his many clutch hits against the Rays over the years.  I am still a big fan of former Devil Ray Julio Lugo, and I have no problems with guys like Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Bay, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Daisuke Matsuzaka.  Lester’s comeback from cancer is an inspirational story.  I also consider Terry Francona to be one of the best managers in baseball, and the Red Sox front office, led by Theo Epstein, ranks right up there with the Rays as one of the smartest in MLB.  It really is amazing how much success Boston has had with developing its own players and making the right acquisitions at the right times.

In this series, we are going to see the two best teams in baseball, the two survivors from the best division and the best league in MLB, face off against each other.  It’s going to be unbelievably fun to watch, no matter what the final outcome is.  My prediction is a 4-3 series win for the Rays.  This is based on the Rays home-field advantage (they are 8-1 against Boston at home this year), my perception that they are “hungrier” than the Red Sox to win it, and the bias that I have in favor of my favorite team!

From the last game that I've attended at Tropicana Field on 9/23/07. You can see that the guy next to me is wearing a Red Sox hat. The Rays won that day, 5-4, against the eventual world champions.

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6 Comments »

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  1. Nice job on this post. I will not apologize for Julian Tavarez, he is an idiot. Martinez hitting Gerald Williams incited a brawl? Gerald Williams charged the mound because he’s a jackass. There was no intent when Martinez hit him. Then lovable dope Zimmer attacked Pedro. I agree Trot’s bat didn’t slip, that was bush league. Yes, Curt Schilling doesn’t know when to shut his mouth. As far as the Crisp incident, You fail to mention the cheap shots I beleive Carl Crawford and team Goon, .182 hitting Johnny Gomes took. So you like Tampa in 7. My prediction will be on my site tonight. stay tuned……………..

  2. You forgot to mention that Coco was only retaliating from a play the night before. it should be a great series though.

    By the way I mailed out your cards this afternoon. That Kazmir mini has to be the best looking card in A&G this year, tell me what you think after you get it. Maybe you could start a poll, Best 08 A&G card. Scan and post 10 cards and them let readers vote the bet card.

    May the best team win tonight…

  3. I have to admit that the Gerald Williams incident happened before I became a Rays fan, so I’m just going by what I’ve read about it. You may be right about it. As for the Crisp thing, Gomes and CC were only defending their teammate. Crisp had to have known that he would be getting hit after what he did to Aki, and Shields just hit his leg with the pitch. I blame everything on him for charging the mound.

  4. Adam – thanks for the trade. I have the regular sized Kazmir card and I do think it’s a great looking card! Good idea on the poll; I’ll do that after the Rays season ends.

  5. I gues we’ll have to agree to disagree. As far as I’m concerned you don’t take cheap shots at a guy on the bottom of the pile. Gomes should take his .182 average and his mowhawk to the WWE.

  6. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did wind up in the WWE! He’s already done some run-ins in wrestling matches that have taken place at Tropicana Field. He’s not a good MLB baseball player as you pointed out, and he won’t be back with the Rays next year.


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