Many people are wondering if the history of friction between the Devil Rays and the Red Sox will boil over when the teams meet for the first time tonight to begin a 3-game series in Boston. Even the umpiring crew for the series has been put on high alert by the league office. The latest incident was the well-publicized sucker-punch thrown by the always hot-headed Julian Tavarez at Joey Gathright. One of the problems with the DH in the American League is that pitchers never have to walk up to the plate and face potential retaliation. So we ask…What Would Lou Do? The Sox leadoff hitter would go down, and he would go down hard. The only deterrent for pitchers in the AL is the fear of their own teammates that don’t want to be the object of retaliation. For those of us that know of Julian Tavarez’s history, we can say one thing, the guy is straight up crazy. I mean cuckoo nest crazy. Personally, we will be disappointed if the leadoff hitter isn’t at least brushed back, but we recognize this is no longer Lou’s team. How will Joe Maddon handle the situation?

Umps on alert for friction [St. Pete Times]Boston’s Tavarez Punches D-Rays’ Gathright [ABC News]Julian Tavarez Is Crazy, Man, Crazy []



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