Did this all start back in 2000 when Pedro beaned Gerald “Hot Rod” Williams? To the best of my diminishing memory it did. Instead of remembering that game for the near-perfect, one-hit shutout that Pedro threw, all I see in my mind’s eye is Brian Daubach cowering from the advancing Roberto Hernandez like he’s in a shower scene from Oz and Hernandez just told him to drop the soap.
Eight years later and countless brawls in the books, and here we are again. James Shields, a key figure in the latest throwdown, takes the hill for the Rays. Here’s what he had to say on the matter:
“I protected my own players and that’s what we need to do around here,” Shields said that night. “We’ve been getting stomped around the last 10 years and it isn’t going to happen anymore. I had to let them know early and let them know right away.”
The Sox aren’t quite ready to let it go either, at least not Jon Papelbon:
“In my opinion it is a bunch of bull what they did,” said Papelbon on the Rays piling on during the fight. “All I got to say is what comes around goes around. Payback is a bitch. In my opinion, and the way I feel right now, this thing isn’t all settled and done. We still got to play them a few more times and I know when we go into Tropicana things will be a little different than when went in there last time.”
The only sad part is that Coco Crisp is serving his suspension from the last brawl and won’t get to take part in the festivities. Crisp, sporting scratches and bruise from his time at the bottom of the pile, called the Rays “a bunch of girls” in his postgame interview. Good times for all expected in the Trop.