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Eye on Rivalries: Old faces, new places

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

James Shields and Evan Longoria might not be so pleased to see each other. (USATSI)

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Another set of weekday series, another set of potentially juicy storylines. Let us take a cursory look at a few of the fun ones.

Not-so-happy to see you again?

Before the season began, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria made some comments about how players like B.J. Upton and James Shields could never really shake off the losing mentality of the old Devil Rays. When Shields was asked about it, he said he was surprised and disappointed -- and he also disagreed with the assertion. Though it's probably not going to be a big deal at all, the baseball Gods have blessed us well with this one, because as luck would have it, Shields the Royals' starting pitcher the first game of the three-game series against the Rays in Kansas City this week, beginning Tuesday.

Happy to see you again?

There shouldn't be any bad blood here, but former beloved White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski will face off against the White Sox in Texas for a three-game series this week, starting Tuesday. The guess is the only "rivalry" here would be akin to those cliched sibling rivalries.

The 'Little Bitches' Bowl

It's been a few seasons, but Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips referring to the Cardinals as "whiny little bitches" helped to even further drive the hatred between the two NL Central clubs -- especially when a brawl broke out between the two clubs shortly thereafter. Starting Monday, the two clubs are set to do battle for three games in St. Louis.

The Farrell Bowl, Part II

The Red Sox and manager John Farrell have already visited Toronto once -- remember, Farrell left the Blue Jays to manager the Red Sox and said it was his "dream job" -- and the reception was not very friendly from the fans. Then again, the Red Sox won two of three, pummelling the Jays 13-0 in the series finale and giving Farrell the last laugh. They'll get after it again in Toronto, beginning Tuesday night.

The Traded-For-Each-Other Bowl

It's rather rare for two highly-touted young players to be swapped essentially straight up, but that's what happened in January of 2012, when the Cubs shipped young fireballer Andrew Cashner to the Padres for young slugger Anthony Rizzo. There were two throw-in type players also involved in the deal, but it was basically straight up, as I mentioned above. Though there's obviously no bad blood between the two players, it's at least mildly interesting to see them face each other. It's only happened once to this point, and it resulted in Cashner striking Rizzo out. It will happen again Wednesday, as Cashner is scheduled to start in the third game of a four-game series between the Cubs and Padres.

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