No Rays of sunshine with Tampa in town
A break from the Yankees-Red Sox and I will wander into the second hated franchise for Beantown, the Tampa Bay Rays. A bit of Ray's trivia is the first member of their Hall of Fame was Zimmer.
In 2000 at Tropicana Field -- an insult to baseball stadiums -- the Red Sox and Rays scuffled. Brian Daubach spent the remainder of the game with Rays pitchers attempting to plug him. Martinez became the ignitor with some tight pitches.
In 2005 at Tropicana, a little headhunting occurred, with David Ortiz getting a pitch sent to test his batting helmet. In 2006 it was spring training when Julian Tavarez of the Red Sox decided to light the fire and was quite successful. I could go on and on about the kerfuffles between the two teams, but I will focus on Fenway Park.
Representing the Boston Red Sox and wearing the red socks is Coco Crisp at 5'10' and 185 lbs. In the other corner wearing the blue socks and representing the Tampa Bay Rays, is James Shields at 6'3" and 210 pounds.
The usual match was a pitch, and this one plunked Crisp, who sprinted to the mound to seek instant revenge and gratification. Jonny Gomes (remember him?) exited Ray's bench to test his knuckles at Crisp, who was on the ground. The usual results were the bullpen guys getting a sprint to the war zone and the benches yelling epitaphs at their fellow union members. Not quite WWE, but an enjoyable evening on TV.
The reasoning for targeting Crisp was payback or baseball vigilante justice. Crisp had used a hard slide the previous night that had raised the ires of Rays manager Joe Maddon. Hence an entertaining scuffle during a 7-1 Boston win.