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QUOTEBOOK

Red Sox manager Terry Francona on the Rays:

"Maybe they got better than everybody else - or quicker than everybody else anticipated. But that doesn't really matter to us. They got better. They stayed better. And it's exciting for baseball because now you have another team that's kind of involved, especially in the East; not necessarily exciting for the Red Sox because it makes our division a heck of a lot tougher."

Rays Game 1 starting pitcher James Shields on the feeling in the clubhouse:

"We're excited. I think being able to play Boston in this series is a pretty exciting series. It seemed like every single series we played Boston this year was like a playoff game whether they came to our yard or we were at Fenway. It's a playoff atmosphere when we play each other, and that's great. And I think these are the two teams that need to play each other right now."

Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis on his team's edge in experience:

"I don't think it's the case where the team with the most experience has the better chance. It comes down to playing baseball and doing the things that you can do. When you throw out the fact this team hasn't played in the playoffs, they have guys that have. And we have guys that haven't played in the playoffs until this year."

Youkilis on whether the bad blood between the teams from the regular season will carry over:

"The intensity is always there in the playoffs, but I think everyone in the media is looking for someone to charge the mound and throw at guys. But I don't think that is going to happen. I think that is a media thing. To be honest with you, I think it's getting kind of old."

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