Oh, by the way—that other Sox franchise had its World Series dreams crushed yesterday by, let's see here ... Tampa Bay? That's the team that plays behind the orange juice factory, right? Well, even though they won their first playoff series ever like five minutes ago, they (or one Tampa baseball columnist anyway) are taking to this trash talking thing like a flat-bodied cartilaginous fish takes to water. Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times, hit it:
The Red Sox are that sneering gunfighter you see in Westerns who you know is destined to draw against John Wayne. Or that glowering boxer who feels no pain who is bound to fight Rocky Balboa. The Red Sox are final-reel villains, and as formidable as they are, it is fitting that they should be the final team standing between the Rays and the World Series.
Shortly after this—and after taking a brief moment to rub Chicago's nose in the dirt one more time—Rays fans are probably thinking to themselves: "Stop it! Do you also enjoy poking hornet nests with sharp sticks?" You've only had two seasons where you didn't finish in last place. Ease into your success a bit, baby. The Red Sox have become such a post-season juggernaut that Dan Shaughnessy is positively bored by them. (Seriously, wake up dude.) The last thing you want to do is give The Nation a reason to think about anything other than writing Manny Ramirez-based limericks. Wear your "everyone forgot about us" badge with pride and stay under the radar for awhile. What's that? Hand you that can of gasoline, you say? All right ...
So bring on the annoying Coco Crisp. Bring on the dangerous David Ortiz. Bring on the mouthy Jonathan Papelbon and Kevin Youkilis, the escapee from the biker bar. Bring on the entire cast of Bond villains that is the Red Sox.