Last night, I did not watch the Sox game on television. My better half is graduating from business school today, and last night was the pre-graduation fete at the Skywalk Observatory in Boston’s Prudential tower, with a 360-degree view of Boston. (There was tons of free food and—score!—an open bar, staffed by bartenders who appeared to be getting paid by how many empties they turned in, judging by the strength of their pours. However, as the boyfriend, now the proud owner of several large student loans put it, “This is the most expensive party I have ever been to.”) Yet although I did not get to watch the game on television, I did get to watch part of the game: conveniently, you can see into Fenway Park from the top of the Pru. I was waiting in line for another plate of tuna tartare when a susurration rippled through the throng of merrymakers—a fight had broken out in Fenway Park! Partygoers could see tiny white dots beetling in to the center of the diamond, but of course, we had no idea what occasioned the melee. (Until the crowd of newly minted MBAs whipped out their iPhones, Blackberries, and Treos, of course.)

Because I missed the fireworks, I feel unqualified to opine on the fisticuffs. So let’s get some reax from Rays and Red Sox blogs. First, the Rays:

DRays Bay calls it “the lowest moment of the season” for the Rays, but Rays Index is proud of their devilish ballclub, and notes that Sox hurler Jon Lester didn’t even get a warning.

MVN has a point-counterpoint take from the perspective of two Rays fans, one of whom wishes that Shields “had landed that haymaker…That clip would have been played over and over until the end of time. ”

Rays of Light calls the team “scrappy” and wants your suggestions for a team theme song.

The Heater has a timeline of the Rays-Red Sox rivalry.

Now for the Red Sox blogs (either there are a lot more Red Sox blogs out there, or I just know about more of them…no intentional snubbing of other Rays blogs, my friends! If there’s a good Rays blog I missed, please email me):

Center Field has a rundown (with video) of the main event, plus the bizarre sideshow between Manny and Youkilis in the dugout. The team isn’t talking about it publicly, but our best guess is that Youk said something to Manny about lollygagging out of the dugout on his way to the fray and that Manny didn’t take kindly to it. (Personally, I’m on Manny’s side. Can you imagine the uproar if Ramirez had gotten hurt in a dustup with Ortiz possibly out for the season? Manny did eventually leave the game with a “hamstring problem” but I think his hammy was just angry—and as we know, in those situations, you have to react.)

Sox Addict recaps the Wednesday night shenanigans at second base that led directly to last night’s rumble and takes Coco’s side. Beantown West says Coco was in the wrong.

Soxaholix rebukes Youk for expecting more ass-kicking out of Manny and wonders what else would have gone down if Julian “Batshit” Tavarez were still with the team.

Surviving Grady misses another former Red Sox player known to enjoy a good fight: Trot “the original dirt dog” Nixon. “Seeing someone [JD Drew] wearing the number 7 just standing on the periphery of a brawl,” they muse. “That’s how you know Trot Nixon has left the building.”

Basegirl isn’t worried about the clubhouse chemistry of the warring Red Sox. “After all, we have Sean Casey: Peacemaker. He’ll appease all parties and get them separate coloring books and Tek will give everyone Dad Face and everything will be fine. Problem solved.”

And count on Sox and Dawgs to point out the actual baseball implications of last night’s game: Jon Lester pitched his first outing without a walk, a major accomplishment for a young pitcher who has heretofore struggled in that department and a big deal for a team that has walked way too many people so far this year.

First the Rays fought with the Yankees during spring training. Now they’re battling with the Red Sox for first place—literally. Maybe it’s not so easy to take the “devil” out of Devil Rays after all…

5 Responses to “Friday Reading: the fightin’ Devil Rays strike again!”

  1. Lyndsay says:

    dude, I missed this game TOO! the ONE game that I miss and a basebrawl (my favorite thing in the world) happens.

    you knew something was gonna happen with Coco tonight – he was HEATED in that dugout last game.

    so Iwamura has the running record in the league for attempted intentional injuries upon his person while sliding into 2nd. I wonder who has the record for intentional revenge HBPs – I’m gonna go with either Manny, or A-Rod.

    I don’t get these unsaid baseball “rules’ of conduct. why should Manny come in from the outfield to jump into the basebrawl pig pile and potentially injure himself over something that has nothing to do with him? what is this, prison? retardness in my opinion.

    the Sox needed Nolan Ryan in there last night – dude could hold his own in a basebrawl.

  2. Lyndsay says:

    and yeah – this is one of the reasons they shouldn’t have let Tavarez go – you know he’s coming out of the bullpen with the nunchucks flying.

  3. Sarah Green says:

    I would have also loved to see a Nixon-Gomes brawl! Let’s hope the Tucson Sidewinders give the ol’ Dirt Dog a chance to get his licks in at some point.

    Random aside: I miss the sight of Mo Vaughn striding in from the dugout to break up a fight. It always looked like he was Moses and the bodies of the other players were the Red Sea.

  4. Anyone remember the game in 04 or 05, Arroyo was on the mound. Lance Carter threw one behind Manny, Manny took the next pitch out of the park, then Carter threw at Ortiz’s head. Arroyo comes in the next inning immeadite throws at the batter. Now that was a fun series.

    But this has been waiting to happen and will likely heat up. Red Sox/Rays have been on the edge of violence forever. For the Red Sox though there was always the knowledge that they were the better team. With the Rays finally having a team that can be legitimately thought of as a contender, it’s really now a clash of the Titans.

  5. Lyndsay says:

    I wouldn’t go that far, Ben. it was more like Coco going ape-sh*t and letting out a lot of stuff that had been building up in HIM for awhile. and his actions got Casey and Lester suspended as well. idiot.

    the whole neanderthal “you hit my guy, now i gotta hit one of your guys” thing is so immature and bush league. bush league I tell you!

    I’m more interested in what happened between Youk and Manny.

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