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OK, it’s here. The day has arrived.
The Orioles have made it through the weekend in New York – in near disastrous fashion before ultimately escaping a sweep – and will now spend the next four games playing against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway.
It’s such an anticipated matchup — after the teams clashed at Camden Yards recently — that ESPN picked up Monday’s game.
So how ugly is this series going to get?
“Don’t want to be a party pooper here, but I really think it is going to be tame,” said Evan Drellich, the baseball insider for Comcast SportsNet New England (csnne.com).
I think the Orioles and Red Sox will battle like they always battle, but I don’t see there being any carryover from when Boston reliever Matt Barnes threw at Manny Machado on April 23 (after Machado spiked Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia on April 21).
That’s the sense I’ve gotten, but I’m really only talking to one side of this two-to-tango situation.
So, in this episode of “Around the Beat,” I spoke to Drellich to get his take on whether he thinks the Orioles and Red Sox will dance again this week.
Here’s some of what he had to say:
“The Red Sox would be out of their minds to somehow try and further this thing. If you boil it down, you had one wrong – Orioles to Red Sox – then you had an attempt to right the wrong — Red Sox to Orioles – a kind of spectacular failure of that attempt to right the wrong. And that should end it,” Drellich said. “The only guy who got hurt through all of this remains a Red Sox player (Pedroia). I don’t know why, if you’re the Orioles, you would try to kind of take this a step further. It’s horrible to say, but if the pitch had actually hit Machado, I think it’s different. But the fact the pitch didn’t get him, I don’t think that leaves room for a logical, ‘OK, this thing is going to take off from here.’”
Of course, if one side perceives that the other has wronged it, well, maybe this whole thing percolates again. It’s impossible to predict what might trigger that. But, in a game in which emotions can run high, there’s always that potential.
Drellich and I spent more than 30 minutes talking about this series, about Orioles manager Buck Showalter, about Pedroia and Machado and about Zach Britton’s comments concerning Pedroia’s leadership that irked a chunk of New England.
I always like getting someone else’s perspective on a subject I’ve written about. Drellich provides plenty of perspective – and I think it’s definitely worth hearing.
If you’re an Orioles fan or a Red Sox fan, this episode is for you.