What They are Saying About the ALCS
I always love to check out other newspapers and read what the are saying about our Tampa Bay Rays. Some articles are starting to have a fatalistic viewpoint, while other still have that optimistic slice of pie you want to read from your hometown fish wrap. Here are some of the recent snippets from the media giants patrolling the ponds of Fenway Park during the ALCS. After the 9-1 Rays win in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, here’s what other sportswriters had to say.
Rays Quiet ‘Friendly’ Fenway
Steve Buckley, Boston Herald
Sox fans should have seen this coming. Though the Rays lost 7-of-9 games at Fenway Park this season, those two victories took place in the last two meetings between the two clubs. And overall, the Rays won seven of their last nine regular-season games against the Mighty, Mighty Bostones and captured first place in the rugged AL East.
So for those of you who were banking on the Rays being intimidated, scared, discouraged, this being their first visit to Fenway when big-boy October baseball is being played . . . no.
Lester’s Dominance Takes Big Hit From Pesky Visitors
Sean McAdam, Boston Herald
For the Sox, here’s the sobering reality: They have to win at least one of the next two just to force the ALCS back to Tropicana Field. And should they get there, the rotation is lined up that the two Sox pitchers set to go in potential elimination games have been tattooed the first time around in the series.
Rays Take Control, At Least For Now
Clubhouse Insider, Boston Herald
The Rays are young, fresh, and just new enough at all this not to be cowed by the stage. They don’t know any better.
The Sox are defending champs, but the Rays right now look like the team to beat.
Rays Knock Red Sox Onto Their Heels
Jack Curry, New York Times
They are two significant parts of the future for the Tampa Bay Rays, the smooth third baseman and the even smoother center fielder. They are such talented twenty-something players that they give the Rays endless hope for the next decade or more. But on Wednesday, with Evan Longoria at third and B. J. Upton in center, the future was already here.
Display of Power Lets the Air Out of Fenway
Harvey Araton, New York Times
Through the summer months and into September, the consensus on the neophyte Rays was that they weren’t quite ready to complete the regular-season marathon, that they would fade to the wild card, if not out of the playoff picture entirely. But they ran away from the $200 million Yankees, withstood the September challenge of the defending champion Red Sox, brushed off the White Sox in their franchise October debut.
All those thresholds handsomely met, how daunting should best of seven be for a team that had proved itself in best of 162?
Tampa Bay Rays fans know that slugger Carlos Pena is hot on the field.
Now Bay area baseball lovers can show their support for No. 23 by sporting shirts with “Holla Pena” or “Jala Pena” on the front and a cheer for him to “Do That Dance” on the back.
Part of the shirt sales proceeds will benefit the Children’s Cancer Center.
Pena teamed up with Encore Select to make the shirts.
“Everyone in Tampa Bay needs to be doing the ‘Holla Pena,’” Encore Select President Richard Moore said.
The T-shirts and sweatshirts will be available soon at www.encoreselect.com and at retail stores.
Also on the website is two different variations of a shirt sporting Evan Longoria on them. Both have the AL Rookie of the Year candidate’s jersey number and phrasing that is all about the heavy-hitting young Ray.
The Rays lead the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox, three games to one. Game 5 is at 8:07 tomorrow at Boston’s Fenway Park.