History of a rivalry
Some of the incidents between the Rays and Red Sox, ranked by extracurricular excitement:
1. Aug. 29, 2000, Trop: Boston's Pedro Martinez hits leadoff man Gerald Williams in the first, igniting the first of two bench-clearing brawls and threats that carry over into the hallway between clubhouses. Eight Rays players and coaches get ejected as they try to retaliate during the rest of the night, and two Sox go to the hospital for precautionary tests. Plus, Martinez takes a no-hitter into the ninth before John Flaherty's single breaks it up. 2. June 5, 2008, Fenway: A day after Coco Crisp's hard slide into Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura (he said in retaliation for shortstop Jason Bartlett's knee blocking the bag), James Shields hits Crisp, who charges the mound. They exchange punches, and the benches empty for a serious brawl. Three are ejected, and eight get suspended, including Crisp and Iwamura. 3. April 24, 2005, Trop: With six batters already hit in the series, brawling starts when the Rays' Lance Carter throws at David Ortiz's head. (That came after he threw a pitch behind Manny Ramirez, who responded by homering.) Six are ejected, and eight get disciplined. 4. March 27, 2006, Fort Myers: Who said spring training is relaxed? Sox reliever Julian Tavarez punches Joey Gathright in the face after a close play at the plate, and the Rays respond in midseason form. Both are ejected. Tavarez gets a 10-game suspension. 5. May 5, 2002, Trop: After the Rays' Ryan Rupe hits Nomar Garciaparra and Shea Hillenbrand in the first, Trot Nixon's bat "slipped out" of his hand and flies toward Rupe. Boston's Frank Castillo later hits Randy Winn. Both Sox are suspended. Honorable mention
Sept. 29, 2000, Trop: The Rays' Roberto Hernandez gets credit for creativity. He strikes out Trot Nixon to end the game that eliminates the Sox from playoff contention then waves goodbye from the mound. July 18, 2002, Trop: The Rays' Brent Abernathy and Sox's Manny Ramirez are hit twice as tempers flare. The Rays' Esteban Yan and manager Hal McRae get ejected. Sept. 9-10, 2002, Trop: Playing under an MLB warning, five batters are hit and four are ejected in two games: the Sox's Derek Lowe, Rays' Lee Gardner and both managers. Sept. 27, 2004, Trop: After the Sox's Bronson Arroyo hits Aubrey Huff and Tino Martinez, Scott Kazmir (who had 31/3 no-hit innings) plunks Manny Ramirez and Kevin Millar in consecutive at-bats, leading to a bench-clearing scene. Kazmir and manager Lou Piniella are tossed.
April 26-27, 2005: Sox pitcher Curt Schilling goes on Boston radio and blames Lou Piniella for the prior hostilities, saying he "forgot how the game is played" and Rays players refer to him as "this idiot." Piniella fires back, saying he "lost a lot of respect" for Schilling.