I would personally like to thank our Baltimore Orioles after their unexpected three game sweep of the Boston Red Sox this weekend. Not because it’s the first time since 1998 that the Birds swept the BoSox in a series consisting of 3 games or more games. (Isn’t it interesting just how many stats the sport of baseball has?) The reason I’m thanking Ty Wigginton and Miguel Tejada for providing the heroics in two out of the three Oriole wins is for one simple fact….it shut my wife up.
In September of 1999, my wife and I visited Boston for the first time. And to be honest, we fell in love with the city. As a Baltimore boy, born and bred, I’m never a fan of any other city other then my own, despite the glaring flaws that Charm City has. But we both found Boston to be a very nice city to visit for a weekend. It should be noted that the whole reason behind this trip was that a friend of mine was able to snag 4 tickets to a Red Sox game against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway. I jumped at the chance to go to the game considering I am very well versed in baseball history, and Fenway remains one of the game’s crown jewels. But in doing so, I ended up creating a monster in my wife that I never saw coming….a Boston Red Sox fan. Oh dear God.
As you can imagine the decade plus that followed, has not been as pleasant as that late summer trip back in ’99. The BoSox won that day, and have done a lot of winning since then. The Orioles….not so much. So the chants, “Here we go Boston!” have been a fixture in my home ever since. The Orioles haven’t helped either, having been totally B-slapped all over the place by Red Sox teams since the late 90′s, but this weekend, things changed, just a little bit. The O’s swept the Sox in dramatic fashion. My wife was rendered speechless, and the Red Sox were shown as an old, slow, and vulnerable team. And if I’m as smart a baseball fan as I like to think I am, Boston’s in trouble.
Look, they’re still better then the Orioles, by a wide margin. But the Orioles are certainly not the measuring stick by which the Red Sox measure themselves by. It’s the New York Yankees of course. And if this past weekend is any indicator of where the Sox are, they are in big trouble. Because from where I sit, they are more competition for the Birds, then they are the Yanks. David Ortiz is done. His homer Saturday night notwithstanding. Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia are good, but they’re no Mark Texieria or Robinson Cano. The pitching staff is big question mark, and the bullpen is awful. Not Orioles’ awful, but awful nonetheless. J.D. Drew can’t hit real pitching, Victor Martinez couldn’t throw me out, and I have two bad knees. Marco Scutaro is Cesar Izturis with a slightly better bat. And to make matters worse…
THEY WERE SWEPT BY THE FREAKIN’ ORIOLES!!!!
At quasi-home games no less. Fenway Park South was in full throat for these clowns all weekend and all they did was reward them with three straight losses.
Mark my words, the Red Sox will struggle to finish ahead of the Blue Jays, and well behind the Tampa Bay Rays and Yankees. They’ll have their moments this year where they’ll win 13 of 18 and claw to within shouting distance of the wild card by mid-summer, but that’s about it. This is not a playoff team. And it was on full display here in Baltimore this weekend.
As an Orioles’ fan, this does make me grin a little. Not necessarily because it shows the flaws in the Red Sox and how even they can’t compete with the Yankees, but because at the end of the day…….
my wife won’t be shouting “here we go Boston”…anytime soon.
Thank you O’s. It was almost…magical.