Is it just me, or does Coco Crisp seem like a completely different guy since he got his beef on with James Shields and the entire city of Tampa Bay? All of a sudden he’s doubled his home run output (from 2 to 4, but still) and is carrying an air of badassery that seems oddly infectious and remarkably entertaining. He’s even become the guy whose postgame comments are required listening, as he proved again with some humorous insight after yesterday’s 9-0 blowout of the Reds:

“Who cares about Beckett?” Crisp said after Boston’s fourth win in five games and ninth in the last 12. “Let’s talk about me.”

This seems to be the guy we thought we were getting when the Sox signed him prior to the 2006 season. Back then, you couldn’t turn on a radio without hearing a Coco commercial or walk a city block without seeing a “Cuckoo for Coco” sign or shirt. Then he injured his hand, got shipped to Vietnam, took that guest spot on “Mr. Belvedere,” and things went downhill pretty quickly. But then came the fight, and he seems a completely different guy. Personally, I’m thrilled to see him finally blossom into a cult hero in these parts.