GO RAYS! The Evil Empire of Boston Has Been Defeated!

ATLANTA – I tell you, the more I see this Tampa Bay Rays team, the more I like them.   Having been a National League fan all of my life, this is one of those rare post seasons where I find myself rooting for the American League team.   BJ Upton is one of the more exciting young players in the game.  And what about Evan Longoria at age 23?!?  He hammered Boston pitching. 

I have to admit, coming into this series against the Red Sox, I was worried.  The Red Sox are a wonderful franchise, with a wealth of postseason experience and incredible balance throughout their roster.  They have one of the best postseason pitchers of this generation in Josh Beckett.  Daisuke Matsuzaka is coming off of an amazing regular season, having gone 18 – 3 with a 2.90 ERA.  Jonathan Papelbon is one of the best closers in the game.  And they have a strong, disciplined lineup.  I thought for sure the Rays spark would fade and the Red Sox would march into their 3rd World Series in 5 years.

Futher, after the devestating loss in Game 5 and an upset in Game 6 at Tampa, I thought the Rays were dead in the water.  No team has had more Game 7, backs-against-the-wall experience than these Boston Red Sox.  The Red Sox have a lot of heart and a lot of fight for a veteran team that has done this plenty of times before.  You have to admire them.  I thought this series was over once it got to Game 7.

But not so!  These Rays, anchored by a very deep five man rotation and timely, balanced hitting, are for real.  This team is no fluke.   They went toe-to-toe with the defending champs and bested them.   I think they will have an easy time with the Phillies in the World Series.

I respect the Red Sox immensely, but the city of Boston has been blessed far too often with sports success in recent years. Thus I dub the city the new “Evil Empire.”  They have (thankfully!) beaten New York into submission and supplanted them in baseball dominance in recent years.  While they weren’t so successful in doing so in football last year, they still came close and have plenty of football championship rings to cry on after their loss to the Giants. 

Tampa Bay hasn’t had anything to get excited about in sports in a long time.  And with this effort, the Rays are building an entirely new fan base.  This will be a boon to baseball for years to come.  The excitement they bring to the field and amazing story that they have become reminds me so much of the Atlanta Braves in 1991.  All I have to say is that I’m a believer now and I’m a fan. 

Go Rays! Beat those Philadelphia Phillies!

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11 thoughts on “GO RAYS! The Evil Empire of Boston Has Been Defeated!

  1. I think this will be a good World Series for baseball as a whole. So they’re small market teams. Who cares. I am just glad the Red Sox lost.

  2. They don’t call it Red Sox NATION for nothing. The Red Sox are beloved from coast to coast. I think it’s safe to say that the Red Sox are, and deservedly so, America’s team.

    Now your co-opting the Yankees “Evil Empire” label to describe the Red Sox is both horribly unfair and disappointing. Are you jealous that we live in the City of Champions here in Boston?

    So you know there isn’t a Red Sox fan that I know of that didn’t come to the conclusion and quickly that the better team won the series and as such tipped their hats to the Rays. We are not only a very knowledgeable fan base but a respectful a fan base. We recognize too that the Rays winning is good for the game that we love and as such we applaud them and are hopeful they win the series. That article I sent you was from a well-respected 30 plus year sports writer from the Boston Globe who lives and breathes the Red Sox and his column like the rest of the columns in both the Globe and the were both realistic and respectful.

    Can you really say that about NY or the Yankees?

  3. Yes, that passionate red sox nation really made an impression didn’t they? They love their team, but apparently these days they only love ’em when they win.

    http://www.masslive.com/sports/index.ssf/2008/10/quiet_return_to_boston_for_red.html?category=Red%20Sox

    Maybe it’s because all those obnoxious moonbats are spreading like a virus through the rest of the country. By the way, where were all these guys in 2000? Oh that’s right, no where. America’s team was the Yankees back in that day. And according to marketing and sales, America’s team and the WORLD’S team is still the Yankees. Take a seat BoSox. You are going back to the bottom after this. No Manny. No Championships.

  4. BombingintheBronx – When was the last time the Yankees won a World Series? Oh yeah it was last Century! That you would dare compare the franchises fresh off a, not making the playoffs season, is typical! I hear the NY stands for, Next Year now. In all honesty though you should get used to this past season, early exits are going to become commonplace in the Bronx!

    Red Sox Nation rules!

    Hey did you hear Joba got nabbed for drunk driving after being heckled at a strip club in Nebraska by a group of Red Sox Nation devotes! He can’t take the pressure on or off the field.

    We’re calling this new era of failure for the Yankees, “The curse of the ARod!”

  5. LW: Well now, let’s be fair here. The Yankees would have to actually enter to qualify for “Early exits”. They fell shy of tying or besting the Braves mark of 14 straight post seasons. they never had a shot at 14 straight division titles. And now they look like a mess with years between a return to the post season. The new millenium is wonderful in so many ways.

    Ironically as I typed that Chase Utley hit a 2 run homer to give the Phillies the lead in the opener…

  6. Sorry BombingBronx, but couldn’t agree more with Lord Wakefield in this debate b/w a Red Sox fan and a Yankees fan.

    I’m a Braves fan myself and we got smoked by the Yankees twice- not fun at all. We had you guys in 1996, but Wohlers (who owned a 100MPH fastball) decided to go with a slider to Leyritz in the eighth, resulting in that gut wrenching 3-run homer. And Bobby had to put Pendleton in as DH instead of Klesko in Game 6 and Pendleton blew several big opportunities. We should never have gotten to the series in 1999, we backed in with injuries and no energy – we deserved to get beaten.

    Anyway, my top two baseball series of all time are (apart from Alanta winning in 1995):

    1) Boston over New York 2004 – Best ALCS ever for so many reasons. Watched it in Savannah, GA while on an extended work trip surrounded by transplanted members of the “Red Sox nation.” Even down South, the Red Sox fans bring energy- I’ll give you that LW.

    2) Arizona over New York 2001 – Emotional time, very emotional series. Great wins for the Yanks in the Bronx, but a fantastic ending in Phoenix – great series.

    LW: Apologize for offending you w/ my “Evil Empire” moniker. You pegged it – it’s more jealousy than anything else. LIke I’ve said, I have immense respect for the Red Sox, especially now in the post-Manny era. Lots of good guys and good players up there. But my moniker stems from you guys dominating professional sports for the last few years- you really have built quite an empire. Meanwhile, Atlanta sits near the absolute bottom of sports cities. (Atlanta is not a good professional sports town at all). But maybe adding “Evil” to my moniker is too strong, because you guys have no one to match the Steinbrenners.

  7. Two top besides 95 doesn’t include 91? I don’t know about that. That was an amazing series. Amazing… I do like the 01 series and the Red Sox coming back from one out away from death to stuff the Yankees… Good stuff.

  8. My top 5 of all-time is really a tight list- hard to differentiate. After those top 3 come the Braves in the 1992 NLCS and the Braves/Twins in 1991. I only put 1991 at the bottom b/c my team lost. Further, I put 1992 below the 2 I mentioned above b/c 1 of the 2 was so historic (Boston over Yankees) and the other of the 2 was a world series, and thus a more important series.

    But again, they’re all pretty tightly packed together in my mind. Great series, each one.

  9. Atlanta is tops in one sport. Just ask Michael Vick – Dogfighting could be a sport. Granted that was all in Virginia. Just kidding guys. As a former resident of Atlanta and now resident of Boston, as well as attendee of UTK – I just want to get rid of Philip Fulmer.

  10. I celebrate Michael Phelps! Long live swimming… Now, get that kid some acting lessons so he can do a proper commercial

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