BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox and Rays’ budding rivalry has reached a new playing field: Twitter.
Immediately in the aftermath of the Rays’ 2-1 victory over the Red Sox on Monday night — a win that allowed the Rays to leapfrog the Red Sox in the standings in the AL East — the operator of the Rays’ Twitter account unveiled a joke that had likely been stashed in a back pocket for several hours
“Dear @RedSox scoreboard operator – your standings are wrong. Yours truly, @RaysBaseball,” the official Tampa Bay Rays account tweeted to its 124,000 followers.
It is the second time in less than a week that the Rays have climbed past the Red Sox in the standings with a win at Fenway Park, and it was a controversial win at that, with a blown call by home plate umpire Jerry Meals taking the tying run off the board for the Sox in the bottom of the eighth. Nevertheless, it evidently warranted some sort of showboating by the Rays.
The Red Sox’ Twitter account remained silent with regard to the Rays’ jab for about 20 minutes before unleashing a worthy counterpunch
“Don’t worry @raysbaseball we look forward to seeing you in Tampa in September for our home games at the Trop,” the Red Sox account tweeted to its 511,000 followers.
The tweet was in reference to the Rays’ lack of attendance at Tropicana Field, where Red Sox fans tend to fill the stands equally or even more so than Rays fans. According to ESPN’s MLB attendance figures, the Rays rank 29th out of 30 MLB team in average attendance, drawing 17,790 fans per night. The ballpark’s average of being 52.2 percent full ranks 26th out of 30. The Red Sox rank 10th in average attendance at 34,316 fans per night and third with an average capacity of 92.6 percent.
The Red Sox and Rays meet again on Sept. 10 at Tropicana Field. We’ll see then if the Twitter fight keeps pace with the AL East race.