by Ryan Adams
It just may be a wet and quite chilly four-game series coming up for the Rays in Boston beginning tonight against the Red Sox.  There's a strong chance of rain throughout the day and night at Fenway to go along with a temperature dipping close to 40-degrees - in April!  As if it wasn't bad enough rounding out the Texas series with frigid weather, the Rays face much of the same against the Sox as Alex Cobb (1-0, 0.00), a native New Englander, toes the hill Friday night as the first pitch gets underway at 7:10.  Felix Doubront (0-0, 5.40) takes the mound for Boston.
Mark Topkin was on with Tom Jones and Rick Stroud Friday morning and doesn't believe they'll play tonight in Boston.
"Right now looking at what's being forecast, there's not gonna be a ballgame," Topkin said.  "It's gonna start raining about one o'clock and it's gonna rain pretty heavy until eight or nine o'clock."
In the off-season, the Red Sox cleaned house after finishing dead last in the AL East with a 69-93 record. New manager, John Farrell, has his team now tied with the Orioles for first in the division, but the Rays are just a game back, making this early season division matchup pretty important.  Despite the overhaul after the 2012 season, Rays Manager, Joe Maddon, told Mark Topkin of the Times that he never thought this Red Sox team was going to be a push over in 2013 with pretty strong chemistry in their clubhouse.
"They've got a good group makeupwise," Maddon said.  "That's the part I thought was most compelling."
Fans may just get what they've been asking for since Spring Training sooner than later.  Top prospect, Wil Meyers, has now officially passed the mark needed to delay free agency an extra year until after his seventh pro season.  This was one reason the team decided to send the outfielder to Durham to begin the year, causing speculation that based on the poor offensive showing by the Rays to start the season, Meyers just might be on his way up to the Bigs sooner than expected.  The only thing holding the Rays back now?  If they hold off calling him up until late June, they then avoid having him be eligible for a fourth year of arbitration.  It's all semantics, but fans just might be getting restless more and more each game the Rays struggle to get more than a half-dozen hits.
Rounding out the pitching probables for the rest of the series, the Rays will send David Price (0-1, 8.18), Jeremy Hellickson (0-1, 6.35), and Roberto Hernandez (0-2, 6.08) to the mound for the final three games of the series at Fenway.
To read the entire article from Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, CLICK HERE!
To hear the entire Mark Topkin conversation on The Sports Page Friday morning, click the iHeart player below: