Is it just me, or does it seem like it’s been a hundred days since we last saw a baseball game? Thank god the drought ends tonight, with LA and Philadelphia opening the NLCS.

Tomorrow night, the Sox and Rays get down to business. And as the ALCS draws closer, the one thing on my mind is–will there be some quality fisticuffs during this series? After all, these two teams love to tussle, whether it’s that f@#king Raymond mascot thing taunting Remy or that looney Jonny Gomes trying to piledrive someone (from behind, of course, before running away to the safety of the clubhouse).

Tito thinks “nyet”:

“The bad blood, I don’t think anyone has even thought of it,” Francona said. “This is the playoffs, and that really doesn’t enter into it.”

But Papelbon, never one to shy away from a good donnybrook, is open to the possibility:

“I don’t know. There could be something that stirs it right back up. You know how these things linger all year long.”

Not that the Rays aren’t ready to rumble. Today’s Tampa Tribune notes how good ‘n’ crazy Grant Balfour is:

“I definitely will not back down,” Balfour said. “I’ll stand my ground. That’s what we’ve done as a team this year.”

“The Incredible Hulk,” Anderson said. “Grant is 180 degrees different off the field. He’s a nice, likable guy. But on the mound, he’s clinically crazy. When danger arises, he goes off. His eyes and face tighten up. He’s challenging himself, challenging hitters. He’s the Hulk. Yeah, he might as well rip his shirt off and turn green.”

It all begins tomorrow night, folks. And, having scared off anyone who might otherwise watch the game with us, Denton and I will be liveblogging the whole damn thing, with some fancy new livebloggin’ tools. Female groupies are prohibited, but nonetheless encouraged.