Oct 8, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Boston Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes (5), third baseman Will Middlebrooks (16), first baseman Mike Napoli (12) hug and celebrate with teammates after they beat the Tampa Bay Rays in game four of the American League divisional series at Tropicana Field. Boston Red Sox defeated theTampa Bay Rays 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox Show Unlikable Rays The Door In ALDS


The Red Sox successfully navigated the first road on their postseason journey by taking out the Tampa Bay Rays three games to one in the just completed ALDS.  Last night’s 3-1 win in Game 4 was a thrilling team victory but also quite satisfying because it came against a team and fan base that is quickly becoming as annoying as the Sox’ major rival, the Yankees.

From the ridiculous managerial machinations of “genius” Joe Maddon, to David Price‘s sour grapes after getting bombed at Fenway, to the hot dogging antics of Yunel Escobar, to the crooked cap on Fernando Rodney‘s head, to the abomination that is Tropicana Field,  the Rays are on the fast track to being as unlikable as the Yanks.  That’s what made this series win that much sweeter.

Add to that the fact Rays fans have to be the most indifferent bunch in all of baseball based on their regular season attendance numbers, and you really have a combustible mix of annoyance and dislike.

These fans have no interest in showing up during the season to watch a perennial playoff contender, yet there they were out in full force waving their blue hankies and banging their cowbells during the ALDS.  It’s the height of hypocrisy: suddenly loving a team you didn’t care anything about for the first 162 games of the season.

At least Yankee fans show up to Yankee Stadium consistently and their players behave with class on the field.  Sitting there watching Escobar shoot imaginary arrows into the sky after an infield single was ridiculous.  And can Rodney have any less respect for the game by wearing his hat tilted to the side?

I respect the Rays organization immensely for their player development machine and the fact they continuously produce exciting young players and contend every year.  But the fact that the fans don’t always show up, some of the players prefer to showboat and that the manager knows he’s the smartest guy in the room just makes it all too much to take.

I know it was an elimination game for them, but nine pitching changes in the game?  Removing Jeremy Hellickson in the second inning before he even gave up a run?  Saying he loves Boston this time of year in response to the possibility of a Game 5?  Maddon is already on the fast track to being Bobby V. part II.

Lastly, not having to see that dank, dark mausoleum called “The Trop,” filled with booby traps in its roof, again until next season is another relief.  Regardless of whom the Sox play next at least it will be on a level playing field and done outdoors.

The Red Sox may not win the American League pennant, but losing to the Tigers or A’s is a lot more palatable than it would have been losing to this bunch.

Tags: ALDS Boston Red Sox Tampa Bay Rays

  • BoSucks

    Masshole

  • José A. Santiago

    Get your head out of your ass and realize that we aren’t team who has to pay millions to make a playoff. And we have been there 4 times in the past 6 years. Rd Sox are a good team. Its the Boston media and fans that are classless. I remember a Fenway that was half full last year .. But hey I can imagine why you would forget that. Stay classy Boston! I hope the As win so another small market club can beat you down.

    • stephenepeterson

      It’s all water under bridge. I understand Red Sox haters. I also understand statistical analysis, in which Boston either led or was in the top 10 in nearly every statistically significant category in 2013. By all measures they had a monster season and have been able to sustain it this far in the playoffs.

      They made smart, non-big market moves (Victorino, Napoli, Gomes, Berry, Carp), trusted their farm system (Nava, Bogaerts and number of single game role players that contributed) and made the right trade at the right time (Peavy).

      Give credit where credit is due.

  • DarrenDDD

    “I’m also an avid Dallas Cowboys and New York Rangers fan”

    Enough said. I guess you also cheer for Manchester United and the L.A. Lakers?

    • Paul Prims

      No interest in NBA or soccer

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  • DC

    “At least Yankee fans show up to Yankee Stadium consistently and their players behave with class on the field.”…Then why don’t you like them? What more can you ask of a team you’re not a fan of?

    • Paul Prims

      Because the Pre-2004 wounds run extremely deep. At times the “classy Yankee” thing gets overblown but I admit Girardi does run a good ship over there for the most part.

    • stephenepeterson

      Yankee Stadium was not full this year. They averaged 40,488 per game, 80.5% of capacity to Boston’s 34,979, 94.4% of capacity. When Boston was awful in 2012, they were number one in attendance at 37,567 per game, 101.4% of capacity. ‘Nuff said. Get the facts straight, then make your argument.

      • Rick M

        TB does not draw well on the road which is a very good indicator of the rarity of their fan base outside of TB. They even finished dead last in 2010.

        When the Rays are in Boston try to find a Rays fan. Good luck with that.

        The ones who suffer are the real Rays fans.

        I doubt the Rays contribute much revenue to the MLB revenue merchandizing pool.

  • fauxcault

    I’m a life-long Boston sports fan (going back to the Pats’ historically lopsided 1985 Super Bowl loss to the Bears and the heartbreaking 1986 World Series collapse by the Sox) , and I just want to say not all of us are as classless as a piece like Prims’ would make us seem. Most fellow Boston fans I know would not try to count Joe Maddon’s managerial skills as negative for the Rays (he *is* considered to be one the smartest baseball managers today–how is that a negative?) nor would we cherry-pick one opposing player wearing his hat to the side and hold it up as a sign of disrespect for the game (seriously?), especially when our own players have embraced unorthodox looks for several seasons now as a way to show solidarity, from the Gang of Idiots in 2004 to the beards of today. Finally, as others have pointed out, it’s ironic to try and characterize Rays’ fans as fair weather when the Sox have been disingenuously claiming a sold out stadium record for years despite the vast number of empty seats at Fenway for long stretches of time, especially last season when, yes, we Sox fans proved to be fairly fair weather, ourselves. None of these claims hold up, and simply repeating them with slightly different wording to meet a minimum number of words for a column doesn’t change that fact.

    • Justin

      It’s good to see that not all Boston fans fit their stereotype.

  • Justin

    Wow, you have to be kidding me. Do you not realize how ironic your “article” is, or are you just intentionally trolling Rays fans? You’re saying the Rays don’t have class while simultaneously talking trash about the team that just got beat. I’ve got something for you. It’s called a mirror, and you should look into it. Oh, while you’re at it, take a look at this too: http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/9/13/4725996/baseball-mlb-least-likable-teams

    and this: http://www.businessinsider.com/23-reasons-the-tampa-bay-rays-are-the-most-likeable-team-in-sports-2013-10?op=1

  • Brian Longenecker

    5 Stars! Brilliant!! I completely agree. Back to the drawing board Joe!!!

  • Lyle

    lol