Editor's note: NESN.com is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby Valentine's words. Each game day, we will select a Valentine quote that sums up the
day for the Red Sox.
Usually, it's been the other way around.
The Red Sox have always been the ones getting into dugout
altercations or making untimely errors and failing to come through with the big
hit. On Monday, though, it was Tampa Bay's turn to take on the role of the imploding
squad, as the Rays continued a perilous slide that could make them just as
irrelevant as the Red Sox during the season's final weeks.
Tampa Bay came into Monday night's affair as losers of five
of its last six, having been swept by Baltimore and only managing a single
win against New York in its last two series. The Rays badly needed a win, and the last-place Red Sox have
been as good a place as any to find one lately.
Except this time, the Rays played the part of a team in
turmoil. Despite carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning, starter Alex Cobb fell apart quickly after losing
his bid on a two-run home run to Jacoby
Ellsbury. He then got into an altercation with catcher Jose Molina in
the dugout, with pitching coach Jim Hickey stepping in to separate the two.
"There seemed to be a little dissension on their
team," Red Sox manager Bobby
Valentine quipped after the game. "Seemed like something wasn't going
In a season during which very little has gone right for the
Red Sox, it had to give Valentine immeasurable pleasure to be able to point his
finger at the Rays. After all, they're the ones led by the magnanimous Joe
Maddon, who never shows up to the ballpark earlier than he needs to.
But Maddon's wise sayings and Twitter barbs were no help between
the lines, where the Red Sox capitalized on the Rays' mistakes — a costly Ben Zobrist error, for example — and looked every bit the spoiler they are capable of being down the stretch.
"This has been ongoing," Maddon said of Tampa Bay's offensive struggles, according to The Associated Press. "This is a seasonal misadventure."
The Red Sox came through when they needed to Monday, and the Rays did not.
Both teams may have had misadventures this year, but for one night, watching the Red Sox, you would never have known.
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