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Rivalry could last awhile

October 19, 2008|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- This won't be the last we see of the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays battling it out for the American League East title or even playing each other in the AL Championship Series.

Boston has talented young players it can supplement with high-priced free-agent and trade acquisitions, thanks to a generous payroll that reached $133 million this season.

Tampa Bay, despite its $48-million payroll, has some of the game's best young position players in B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria and a superb rotation with no pitcher over the age of 26.

"It makes life in the AL East very difficult, and it's not going to get easier because they're not going to go away," Red Sox Manager Terry Francona said of the Rays.

Tampa Bay Manager Joe Maddon loves the idea of a Rays-Red Sox rivalry. Tampa Bay won the season series, 10-8, and nine of the 10 wins came by one or two runs.

"The way the season played out, the closeness of the games, the intensity of the games, the fact we've finally been able to arrive at the level of the Red Sox in regard to playing on the field . . . as an organization, I think we're on our way there, too," Maddon said. "I think it's great for us, great for the game. It's great for this division to add another wonderful rivalry."


Umpire injured

An injury to plate umpire Derryl Cousins caused a 15-minute delay before the fourth inning Saturday night.

A Jason Varitek foul tip in the second inning hit Cousins on the bottom of the face mask and bounced into his chest. He remained in the game for 1 1/2 more innings but had to come out of the game before the fourth.

Crew chief and first base umpire Tim McClelland took over behind the plate, left-field umpire Brian Gorman moved to third base, Sam Holbrook moved from second to first and Brian O'Nora shifted from third to second. Alfonso Marquez remained on the right-field line, and the rest of the game was played without an umpire down the left-field line.

Cousins was examined during the game and was expected to be OK.


TV delay

TBS had technical difficulties that prevented it from showing the first 20 minutes of Game 6. TBS had experienced router failure in Atlanta.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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