The Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox are not exactly friendly. With his actions yesterday, Steven Souza did not make himself many fans in Boston.
Over the years, the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays have had quite the antagonistic relationship. Numerous beanball wars have broken out between the two teams, and bench clearing brawls seemed to be an annual occurrence. Indeed, death, taxes, and the Rays and Red Sox getting into a skirmish were the absolutes in life.
Over the past few years, that rivalry has lost a bit of its edge. Perhaps it is because the Rays are no longer the new kids on the block, looking to prove themselves against the dominant teams, but that animosity is no longer there. Yet, that did not stop Steven Souza from earning the wrath of Red Sox Nation yesterday.
Every so often, we see balloons or beach balls, or other assorted items, make their way onto the field of play. That happened yesterday, as a balloon emblazoned with the Red Sox logo wandered across Souza’s area. Showing his disdain for all things inflatable, Souza did what any other right minded fellow in his situation would have done – he popped the interloper, sending it the Great Beyond.
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Naturally, such a move was not met with nearly the appreciation it should have been. Sox fans began to chant at Souza, publicly chastising him for removing that offending object from the field. However, that reaction did not bother the Rays outfielder at all, as Souza started dancing for the unappreciative audience.
While it may not have appeared to be the case, one can hope that Souza’s willingness to make light of the situation won over a few fans. It likely made a few people laugh, even outside of the Rays circle of fans. And, as the Red Sox managed to hang on for a 4-3 victory on a day that has become a celebration of the city, perhaps they were in a forgiving mood.
As for Souza himself, he laughed off the entire situation. He understood why they may have been angered, and just had some fun with it. After all, baseball is a game. Why not enjoy oneself while on the field?
Steven Souza likely did what any other Tampa Bay Rays player would have done had a balloon wandered across their field of vision. In doing so, he earned the wrath of the Red Sox fanbase.