Big League Stew - MLB

Normally, if I were to tell you that a man wearing designer eyeglasses got into a shouting match with a man named Coco, I'm willing to bet you'd say it probably took place in South Beach.

I'm also willing to bet you'd guess the argument was over whether or not to board the Yorkie the couple shared over a long day of hunting for antiques from pre-Castro Cuba.

Of course, that's no longer the case, now that the Rays-Red Sox are creating a rivalry atop the AL East that's quickly turning into one of the best in baseball. The dislike between the two franchises escalated even further on Wednesday night, when Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon (The Bespectacled One) got into a shouting match with Boston's Coco Crisp (The Man Named Coco) over Crisp's eighth-inning slide into the brawl-starting Akinori Iwamura (pictured above) after the Red Sox were already leading the game, 5-1. 

The Sporting Blog has Red Lasso video of the incident, which is no doubt the most heated between the two teams since Gerald Williams charged Pedro Martinez at the Trop in 2000.

Said Maddon of Crisp's attempt to steal second:

"I was not pleased with the slide ... I totally felt it was an intent to hurt our middle infielder, and that's what I was upset with ... I was kind of looking into their dugout until I found him. It was a long-distance exchange. There's no place for that when you're intentionally trying to hurt somebody."

Said Crisp:

"If I was trying to injure him, I wouldn't have slid at all."

Ten games remain between the two teams this season, starting with tonight's series finale at Fenway, and if I were Crisp, I'd start practicing those bailing out techniques sometime early this afternoon.

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