The Red Sox got swept by the lowly Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday. I say lowly because the Rays were in last place in the AL East prior to this series with the Red Sox. The Boston loss was their tenth straight. That's their longest losing streak in twenty years. Bad times never seemed so bad... so bad... so bad.
Mike Napoli was placed on the 15-day DL. Shane Victorino was placed on the DL earlier this week. Former Red Sox Josh Beckett threw a no-hitter for the Dodgers. Bad times never seemed so bad... so bad... so bad.
The Red Sox embarrassed themselves by barking and clearing the dugout in a confrontation with Tampa's Yunel Escobar. Escobar's crime against humanity-- "stealing" third base with two outs in the seventh inning with the Rays leading 8-3. Bad times never seemed so bad... so bad... so bad.
I mean, come on, really? I'll give you that nobody likes Yunel Escobar. His own mother probably doesn't even like him. But I can't blame Escobar for this one. The Red Sox seemed offended that Escobar would attempt to steal a base with the game seemingly in hand. Since when is an 8-3 game in the seventh inning a blowout? Then again, this is the 2014 Red Sox so they may have been right. The Red Sox did, however, come within a Dustin Pedroia base hit or walk from bringing up David Ortiz as the tying run in the ninth inning.
Tampa's manager Joe Maddon was quick to point out after the game that he didn't quibble when Jacoby Ellsbury stole second base in an 8-2 game in the playoffs last year. But, apparently, he still remembers it well. His position, and mine, has always been that you are taught to play the full game. Your job is to stop the opponent. Don't stop until the last out is recorded. Sound familiar, Patriots fans? (I know there are no outs in football!)
It is easy to hate the Rays. You can hate them for their team Twitter account. You can hate them for their poor excuse for a stadium (Those catwalks!). You can hate them for playing "Sweet Caroline" for a split second immediately following the Rays' victory on Sunday. But you have no reason to hate them for what happened during the game on Sunday.
You know how to stop a team from embarrassing you when they're blowing you out? Play better and don't let them blow you out!