Love to Hate

Let me start by saying that I hate the Rays. With the exception of Evan Longoria, who is obviously a superstar, and Carlos Pena, who goes unnoticed as the Rays’ team leader, I hate every player, coach and manager on that team. Is it sour grapes because they’ve won the season series with Boston? Maybe. But unlike the national media, I do not see these Rays as the darlings of the league. I find them utterly unlikeable, and I can’t put my finger on the exact reason.

Maybe it stems from their stupid name. What exactly is a Ray? Does it mean a ray of hope for a team that had sucked for so long? Is it short for x-ray, to describe the transparency of the fair-weather fans that are suddenly so eager to jump aboard the bandwagon? (Dan excluded, of course.) Whatever it means, it’s a stupid name. Sure, Red Sox is not the manliest name, but at least I know what it means.

Maybe it’s because of Jonny Gomes and his endless string of cheap shots. Or Carl Crawford’s gangster neck tattoo. Or maybe it’s because Gabe Gross looks like he should be selling life insurance instead of patrolling right field. Maybe it’s B.J. Upton’s never-ending wad of chew that never leaves his left cheek. Or Dioner Navarro’s stupid kiss to the dugout after every hit. I even hate Joe Magrane and Dewayne Staats. I hope that they both suffer from non-cancerous polyps of their vocal cords.

I may not like these guys, but I am not going to discount their success playing in and winning the hardest division in baseball. These guys just find every conceivable way to win, and it drives me absolutely nuts. I’ve watched a lot of Rays baseball this year, and I’m pretty sure that they have never lost. This team is giving me nightmares.

Now, being the stubborn Sox fan that I am, I still like Boston’s chances to go to back-to-back World Series, and here’s why. First of all, Boston has a ton of postseason experience. Normally this would be a bigger advantage, but unfortunately Tampa has proved to be oblivious to pressure. Secondly, Boston has the best scouting department in the majors. They have consistently prepared Boston for every postseason opponent the last several years. They can pinpoint another team’s tendencies and weaknesses and exploit them. Thirdly, Boston has not played their best baseball… yet. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim handed the Red Sox this series on a silver platter, with their shoddy fielding and ill-advised suicide squeezes.

These guys are ready to fire on all cylinders. Jon Lester is an Ace, Papelbon is pitching lights out, Jason Bay and J.D. are coming up with huge at-bats, and there is no way in hell that Dustin Pedroia has a repeat performance of the ALDS.  I also see Josh Beckett knocking off the rust and regaining his form from past postseasons. This is a team that is ready to take off.

Boston wins this series in 6.

Mama Said Knock You Out

Thefoulline.com quick hits:

  • Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia are the best 1-2 punch in baseball. It seems like every game Ellsbury slaps a single, promptly steals second, and then is driven in by Pedroia. They’ve made the top of the Red Sox order fun to watch.
  • Miguel Tejada promised a sick kid with Muscular Dystrophy that he would hit a homerun for him, and then he went out and hit one. I don’t care how old Tejada pretends to be, that was a classy move.
  • All is right in the universe tonight after the Sox bounced back and swept the Rays.
  • That sound you are hearing is the sound of Rays fans jumping off the bandwagon.
  • Announcers should be biased towards their team, but the Rays’ combo of Dewayne Staats and Joe Magrane take it to a whole other level. Listening to these two idiots go on and on over all the calls that go against the Rays makes me want to cut my ears off. Not to mention, Dewayne’s hair looks like a rat’s nest.
  • Dewayne Staats crazy hair
  • To further prove that Terry Francona reads thefoulline.com, after writing about the Sox’s offensive woes, they went and put up 26 runs on the Rays during the three-game series.
  • Tomorrow is the most popular day of the week, Fantasy recap day! Let’s see if my predictions hold up.