Boston beat the Rays 10-8 in a long, long game that lasted 14 innings Monday.
Sadly, despite some amazing performances -- home runs by the formerly light-hitting Rays and some great defense by the Sox, the game was and is being overshadowed by the usual bush league nonsense that has permeated this trumped up rivalry for years now.
John Lackey drilled Matt Joyce, most likely in retaliation not so much for his first inning homer, as the chirping coming from the Rays dugout. Even the guys on Baseball Tonight commented on the trash talking being directed at Lackey. I don't think the dropped bat after Joyce's long foul meant anything. It didn't look like Joyce was styling there, but it was a douche-y maneuver nonetheless.
Naturally Joe Maddon weighed in, claiming to know that the other Red Sox players were ashamed of Lackey and knew what he did was wrong.
Perhaps Joe ought to spend a little more time looking after the comportment of his own players before doing his mind reading routine on his opponents. But then he wears those trendy geek glasses, so what do I know?
The other smaller, but I won't be surprised if it grows bigger, scandal was brought up in the Tampa (formerly St. Pete) Times sports section. Marc Tompkin writes that Rays starter Alex Cobb "...was hit so hard and so often in the first inning that it almost seemed like the Sox knew what was coming."
Yeah, the AL leading offensive team is stealing signs or something now. Couldn't be that Cobb was having a bad night, like the other jewel in the Rays rotation, Matt Moore, who's been shelled his last two outings. No those dirty Red Sox must be cheating.
I've complained about this long and loud for years. Ever since Joe Maddon came to this team, he has created this attitude of perpetual victimhood around the Rays. It's exacerbated by the local media, who are so desperate for the team to succeed that they'll cling to any ridiculous notion that the Rays may actually not be able to win 162 games every season.
With any luck, Lester will throw a shutout tonight and Fausto, I mean Hernandez will have another lackluster outing and that will shut the locals up for a bit.