Okay, you swept us. And while I do question a few moves made by the Glorious Teets — such as not pinch hitting Casey for Tek in the ninth last night, when it is painfully apparent to all that the Captain has become the Craptain in any situation that requires him holding a bat — I’m man enough to say that you guys came out of this series looking spry and hungry. We just look like a team that desperately needs a steak and a triple shot of Papi.

But instead of just taking the high road, letting your performance on the field speak for itself and figuring a sweep of the defending World Champs would be message enough to send to the rest of the world at large, you had to go and do it.

You played “Sweet Caroline” after the final out of last night’s game.

That’s a play right out of Smug Upstart Wannabes 101–the mark of a team that’s so confused by its own success, it feels it has to take these opportunities to step on the 600 pound gorilla’s nuts when he’s down, because it’s not sure it’ll ever have another chance to do so. It was sophomoric–instantly recalling the “1918” chant that was popular ’round Tampa Bay before our 2004 heroics–and frighteningly lame. But it doesn’t surprise me.

Getting defensive about a shitty Neil Diamond song? You’re damn right, amigo. Because it’s our shitty Neil Diamond song. To use it to openly mock us when you could have simply pointed to the standings and shuffled off the field knowing we’d been outgunned and outquaffed… let’s just say you didn’t earn yourselves any karma points.

In fact, I’m betting that with this maneuver, you have sealed your fate, Tampa Bay Rays. Forget the postseason. Forget the Jay Leno interviews and ticker tape parades and a trip to the moon on the President’s personal hovercraft. The Gods of Baseball are a fickle bunch, and while your post-June relevance has been the feel-good story for the first half of the 2008 season, I think you’ve doomed yourselves to bridesmaid status in the AL East.

On the bright side, though, you’re certain to finish ahead of the Orioles.