Last season the Rays brawled with the Red Sox on the field, outlasted them for the A.L. East title, and ultimately beat them in a dramatic ALCS, all of which signal a brewing rivalry. I guess the only thing that’s left on the list is for fans to start fighting at games.
A Boston Red Sox fan is accused of attacking a Tampa Bay Rays fan … at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg police said.
According to a police report, this is what happened:
Near the end of the game between the Rays and the Red Sox, John Thaddeus Ritter, 19, 1280 38th Ave. N.E., St. Petersburg, exchanged words with Red Sox fan Joseph Michael Norton, 30, 8102 Sheldon Road, Tampa, as they were walking down the outside ramp at Gate 6 as they left the stadium.
According to witnesses, Norton ran up behind Ritter and “sucker punched” him in the back of the head, causing Ritter to fall forward on the sloping concrete. Ritter’s head hit the pavement, causing a concussion and serious head injuries. He has since been released from the hospital.
I guess that makes it official: Rays – Red Sox is an honest-to-goodness baseball rivalry.
This latest episode comes after Red Sox Super Fan Chris Sciesinski decided to “strike back for Red Sox Nation” at the end of last season. Both events took place in St. Petersburg. It’s like a traveling carnival!
To (mis)quote Michael Scott from the classic “Business School” episode of The Office: “Baseball is always personal. It’s the most personal thing in the world.”