Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine ripped into the Rays coaches in his pre-game media session, clearly responding to what Rays manager Joe Maddon said after the incident that marred Friday's game.
Among Valentine's comments:
* "I thought their coaches were really aggressive. As a matter of fact, I took offense to the aggressiveness of their coaches. I thought it was very unprofessional and I really was proud of the way my coaches were trying to do what they were supposed to do in those situations. They seemed very immature and out of control.''
* "We're in it to win it. there was no doubt that the coaching staff and me and the players were together, unified."
* "Coaches are supposed to try to stop things from happening and their coaches were actually aggravating and agitating and instigating.''
Maddon did not want to respond directly, but made a point of saying several times - four if you're counting, in his initial response - how much the Rays respect the Red Sox players:
"I covered everything about that that I wanted to last night. the thing I'd like to cover today, if I may, is how much respect I have for the Red Sox players. Been doing this now for 7 or 8 years in the American League East and I have a strong feeling for the professionalism of the Red Sox players for that entire time. Guys like (David) Ortiz, (Dustin) Pedoria, (Kevin) Youkilis, (Josh) Beckett's pitching tonight, my respect goes out for them. So as we move this thing forward, I think we have that same kind of group here with the Rays players. We come here to play baseball, we like to play it hard every night, we kind of like to think of it as the Rays way of doing things. But my whole focus now is on this game tonight and I definitely want to put out there how much respect I do have for the Boston Red Sox players.''