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:
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.)
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…