posted 8 years ago
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Winning creates a rivalry, the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays claim, rather than years of testy relations between the teams.
That was the message coming out of the AL championship series Thursday, with both sides trying to play down a history of brawling that's adding spice to the buildup.
"Bad blood?" smiling Boston slugger David Ortiz said. "There's no bad blood. This is not the WWF. It's a baseball game, bro.
"I mean, come on. I walk out there and they're hugging me, and I hug them back. It's a game. Sometimes you have things happening. It stays on the field. It's not like you're going to walk to the parking lot and wait for somebody," he said.
The wait for the start of the ALCS is almost over. Game 1 in the best-of-seven series is Friday night.
"I know a lot is being made of past pugilistic events. But that has nothing to do with today. Nothing," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
"Those were when the Devil Rays were really struggling, and the games had an entirely different tone to them. We're a different team. We're a different organization now."