Here’s a twist for you. It’s September 20 and I care more about the Orioles than I do the Ravens. If you’re reading this in the future, no it’s not because the Orioles are contending for a playoff spot, it’s because they have a goal over the next month; keep the Boston Red Sox out of the postseason in 2011.
If you’re a Ravens fan who is searching for a distraction after an underwhelming performance against a mediocre team, look no further than across the street from M&T Bank Stadium at 333 West Camden Street where the Orioles are playing meaningful baseball.
Over the remainder of the 2011 MLB season, the Orioles play the playoff hopeful Boston Red Sox five of their last nine games. If you’ve checked out of the baseball world for football, you’re missing an exciting American League Wild Card race in which the Tampa Bay Rays and their $37 million payroll have cut the Red Sox and their $180 million payroll to just two games. It’s one of the best stories of the season and with the remaining schedule Baltimore will play a vital role in determining Boston’s fate.
Yesterday, the O’s split a doubleheader with Boston, winning the first game and losing the second. Jeremy Guthrie earned his third win in a row in game one of the doubleheader and got some love from Rays outfielder Sam Fuld for his effort. “Having late lunch while watching @JGuthrie46 [Jeremy Guthrie] beat the Sox!,” Fuld tweeted. Hopefully Super Sam will get to see a few more Orioles victories against Boston.
While I understand that Orioles fans turned their interest to the purple and black in July when the O’s finished 7-20, I think they should be pulling for the Orioles through September if for no other reason than to frustrate Red Sox fans. I assure you Orioles fans, the Red Sox missing the postseason is the beginnings of a more peaceful Camden Yards during those Boston series.
The bandwagon won’t be cruising down 95 to the best ballpark in the country to watch the Sawx blow a game on the road. Red Sox Nation is nonexistent when the team loses, just listen to the sports talk radio shows or look at how well their team was represented around the country pre-2004. The fans would rather stroke the ego of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick than vent their frustrations on an under performing Carl Crawford or John Lackey.
Yeah, I know it’s not a playoff race, but pulling for the Rays is easy. They are the Cinderalla story that lost a five tool player in Carl Crawford, a power hitter in Carlos Pena and a valuable bullpen arm in Rafael Soriano to three big market, big payroll teams last offseason and they are still finding a way to compete. They grow from within and are managed by one of the most fun guys on the planet. They’re a team that says they aren’t afraid of the Yankees or Red Sox and proves it (12-6 versus Boston, 5-6 versus New York with seven more to play).
Let’s rally behind the Orioles and bump out the Red Sox!
Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com. You can follow him on twitter @zamwi or send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org