Who says they’re not the Devil Rays anymore?
Seldom attended, widely reject, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays were looking for a change and if they couldn’t buy a world series like the Yankees or have a fan base like the Sox maybe a name change would help Tampa get the monkey off its back, or better yet the devil. The first year of Tampa’s "get the Devil out" campaign has been a scoreboard success (37-26) but a wave of recent fights raises a legitimate question, who says they’re not the Devil Rays anymore.
Fights in Baseball are referred to as brawls but this is, more often then not, nothing more than a terrible misconception. Most baseball "brawls" contain little real fighting and would be more accurately described as a scuffle rather then a brawl. Thursday night at Fenway Park in Boston was a baseball aberration, a real full scale brawl complete with kicking, punching and a three on one mismatch.
With out missing a beat Tampa Bay was back at it again on Sunday evening but their opponents the hometown Texas Rangers had no need to fear. The Rays fisticuffs were of the internal variety on this evening.
In the fourth inning Rays starting pitcher, Matt Garza shook off Catcher Dioner Navarro not one, not two or three, not even four times but seven times before delivering a pitch that was sent four hundred feet to straight away centerfield to give the Rangers a three run lead. Pandemonium ensued.
Garza and Navarro had a heated exchange on the mound, sticking their gloves into each other's face. Pitching coach Jim Hickey pushed Navarro back toward the plate when he visited the mound.
When the inning ended, Garza approached Navarro in the dugout. Television cameras caught them face-to-face in a scuffle that spilled into the tunnel leading to the clubhouse. Maddon, Hickey and others rushed to break up the fracas.
It seems to this humble reporter that the Rays may need a good exorcist if they’re ever to rid themselves of the "Devil" for good.
It’s been years and I’m out of practice but.....