Tampa Bay Rays up next: vs. Boston Red Sox

. UP NEXT

vs. Red Sox

Tonight-Thursday

What's new: These aren't the same Red Sox, not with the daily distractions provided by for-now manager Bobby Valentine; the gutting of the roster; and the worst record in the AL East. Having dealt Kevin Youkilis and Kelly Shoppach earlier, the Sox then shipped out Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto and injured former Ray Carl Crawford. Plus they're without injured DH David Ortiz. Valentine's latest was to call it the "weakest roster we've ever had in September in the history of baseball," then Sunday tried to back off. Overall, the team is a mess, though Dustin Pedroia is still there.

Key stat: With Sunday's loss, the Sox officially logged their first non-winning season since 1997.

Connections: Rays 1B Carlos Peña played briefly for Boston. … Sox bench coach Tim Bogar worked for the Rays, hitting coach Dave Magadan is a Tampa product.

Series history: Sox lead 7-5 this season, 148-105 overall, 65-61 at the Trop.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Rays up next: vs. Boston Red Sox 09/16/12 [Last modified: Sunday, September 16, 2012 8:24pm]

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