Roland Arrojo represented the first era of the Tampa Bay baseball franchise. Rocco Baldelli could arguably represent the transition to the second era of Tampa Bay baseball, as far as playing for a team that was more respected and much more talented. As the Red Sox and Rays close out their first series of the season, it makes sense to address the current(or next) era of Tampa Bay baseball.
Joe Maddon represents a minor oddity in the rivalry between the Red Sox and Rays. Whereas with the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, and Toronto Blue Jays, the 'villain' in the rivalry between Boston and Tampa over the last several years wasn't a player, but the manager. Joe Maddon was a king of gamesmanship during his tenure as manager of the Rays, including minutiae like not allowing the Red Sox to play music during batting practice at Tropicana Field. He has since moved on to the challenge of bringing the Chicago Cubs their first World Series title since 1908.
In his place is Kevin Cash, a former Red Sox and member of the 2007 World Series Champions. Gone are Joe Maddon, Ben Zobrist, Yunel Escobar, Will Myers, David Price, and Matt Joyce. They still have Evan Longoria, but they are projected to finish third in the AL East. The Red Sox haven't lost a season series, yet, though they split a four game set with the Orioles last weekend.
While the Rays aren't going to lay down like the Arrojo Rays, and they may not dominate like the Maddon Rays, there's some comfort in assuming the Red Sox will overcome the Cash Rays!