The Tampa Bay Devil* Rays beat the (hated) New York Yankees at Tropicana Field on Thursday, dropping the Bronx Bombers into the AL East cellar and taking a one game lead on the second-place Boston Red Sox.
Yes, it's still early in the season.
The Rays' offense continued to produce somewhat below last year's team, which drew the benefit of rookie Delmon Young's consistent contributions at the plate. Akinori Iwamura's leadoff home run and Shawn Riggans' two-run shot in the fourth inning paced Tampa Bay.
Southpaw pitcher Scott Kazmir pitched six shutout innings to celebrate signing a long-term deal with the team.
I attended this game. Though Bostonfan has developed a reputation for out-irritating Yankeefan, we had a real winner in our section. Some guy with a girl voice provided biased play-by-play action through about the fifth inning, when a Rays fan in front of him told him off.
Here's some typical commentary.
On the Iwamura home run: "That was almost a foul ball."
For about half of the at-bats: "Ball two."
After the first inning, with the Yanks down by one: "It's still early."
After the third inning, with the Yanks down by two: "It's still early."
After the fourth inning, with the Yanks down by four: "It's still early."
At some point between the fourth inning and the eighth inning the guy left. Apparently it wasn't still early by that time.
On a fun note, a promotion a few years ago started the practice of cheering the Rays using cowbells.
Occasionally the scoreboard calls for "More Cowbell!"
The connection is obvious to some:
I need more cowbell!