First, its the positive terminal you shorted to the fuel pressure line, not the negative. Since that wire is not fused it couldn't have blown any of them.
Hmmm. Come to think of it the spark and smoke may have indicated where the problem lies: Technically, the fuel tank is not grounded to the frame or wiring harness anywhere but the relatively small diameter ground wire to the fuel pump and low fuel sensor. If too much current is applied to that wire by, say, applying battery voltage to a hard fuel line attached to the tank, it is possible it fried the wire. Tilt the tank up and inspect the wire and connector at the bottom of the tank. If it has been burned it should be pretty obvious, and is a relatively easy fix.
I'll think on this further and get back to you.
Thanks Rob, you know... i think you may be on to something as well..and thanks for thinking about all the little details here...
First off to re clarify to others (not you) - this was not a case of reverse polarity (the positive was def on to pos, and vice versa).
Since its been 6 years since I replaced the battery, I (in my moment of ignorance)... forgot that since it's such a tight fit, you have so put positive in the compartment first, then attach negative last and push the battery in.
I am almost certain after I connected both terminals, i had the battery facing the wrong way (negative terminal was the one i was trying jam in the compartment first, as opposed to the positive which is the way the manual states, and allows the proper fit.
If this is the case, which I am pretty sure then it would be the positive terminal that then made contact with the metal part of the fuel line under the tank.
I haven't had time to get in there again but I will look at the wires under the tank....where would they be again? Thanks all