So often people talk about the rivalries in games such as football, but it is not the only sport with plenty of notable rivalries. There are many other sports that have some amazing team rivalries.
The MLB lines and odds will always be affected by rivalries just like any betting action is in any sport in which a team is in hot competition.
Baseball has many rivalries, there have been some historic ones, but not all have been super intense. But, it has also seen rivalries grow over centuries. Some of the best are still fresh, like the Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox rivalry.
They have only been division rivals since ‘98, but they have fought it out hard and made their rivalry somewhat iconic in that span of time!
Generally, a rivalry will start due to an internal division related competition, or just simply geography. It’s no surprise that the more teams see one another, for the same division title, that things will get heated and intense.
Over time, the familiarity and intensity that forms in a majority of rivalries comes from division games, which is exactly what happened with the Red Sox and the Rays.
The Rays entered the MLB in ‘98, and were popped into the East Division where the Red Sox had been running things for years. During the first 10 years, the Rays were always pretty bad, maybe the worst in the league.
And, yet, as tempered flared and benches got cleared, a fuel poured onto the fire of that rivalry.
For the Rays, they were the laughingstock of the division, but this gave them a chip on their shoulder which started to show in their play. They adapted to the role of the scrappy, tough guy to compensate for what they so clearly lacked in skill and talent.
This adaptation rubbed some people up the wrong way, notably the Red Sox, and it is part of what started their feud. Simply due to the bench-clearing action that was seen in the early 2000s
These moments built up tension and heat between the teams, and as time went on the rivalry never stopped growing.
There have been many moments in this teams’ rivalry that have stood out, plenty of action that didn’t go to waste. Although there have not been a huge array of moments, there are some notable moments in their rivalry games worth mentioning.
A star pitcher for the Red Sox, Pedro Martinez, actually hit Gerald Williams early on in the game with a pitch. Williams ended up charging at the mound, angry, which started a massive uproar on the pitch. Martinez laughed as he pitched well, and they won.
It was an early-season game, and an outfielder for the Red Sox, Trot Nixon pretended to lose his grip on his bat as he swung and nearly launched it at Ryan Rupe – the pitcher. This was a retaliation to the Tampa pitchers throwing at them.
A Boston victory at 11-3 saw 6 ejections as two brawls cleared the benches. It originated as the pitchers were intentionally throwing at David Ortiz and other hitters. Deeming the play rather risky and dangerous.
There was something of a history that the team would often throw at their opposition. This continued as Shields hit Crisp with a pitch. Crisp ended up charging at the mound and the two players started exchanging punches.
They did constantly show they could clear the benches easily with a tad of brawling.
The Rays ended up breaking their losing streak and turned their rivalry around into a contesting of teams. Whereas before it had simply been a series of brawling and anger.
They managed to make their first appearance at the World Series as they fought hard against the Red Sox. It was about time!
Scott was thrown too many times during a very close game against the Red Sox. After the game he was said to have noted that “we knew where it came from”, which implied that the management was actually telling the pitchers to throw at their opposition!
We won’t go on a full explanation as we are sure you know some of these names anyway. But, we want to cover some of the best players who have participated in this epic rivalry.
- David Oritiz: hitter, 2003-2016. Red Sox.
- Pedro Martinez: Pitcher, 1998-2004. Red Sox.
- James Shields: Pitcher, 2006-2012. Rays.
- Gerald Williams: Outfielder, 2000-2001. Rays
- Luke Scott: Outfielder, 2012-2013. Rays.
- Coco crisp: Outfielder, 2006-2008. Red Sox
It’s not a rivalry that has lasted a lifetime. In fact, it’s probably one of the youngest sporting rivalries. However, it has brought about plenty of amazing moments in its history, and it has been one of the most notable since 2000.
While they don’t brawl like they used to, their competition is still fiery-hot.