I realized as I watched the Orioles defeat Boston last night, that I was again nervous watching my sports teams, and that’s a good sign. The last time I felt this way was during the Terps run to the NCAA mens basketball championship in 2002. I remember watching those games with increasing anxiety up to the point in the final where I was so nervous, it seemed painful to watch, and that I didn’t care who won or lost (of course I did) but I just wanted the game to be over. Only in the days and weeks after the 64-52 victory could I relax and soak it all in.
Felt that way again last night, devoid of any emotion until the 9th inning when Red Sox pitcher, Mark Melancon inexplicably beaned O’s second baseman Robert Andino in the heat of a close game. What was that all about? I was 50-50 on trying to determine if it was intentional, but you have to remember these are the Red Sox. Not only are they classless, they play dirty against the Orioles, and they always have. Was this an attempt at more payback from the Ortiz-Gregg dust up from last year, or the final game knockout the O’s provided during the epic collapse? Or was this piling on from the Clay Buchholz intentional HBP of Adam Jones in the August 16th game after Jones had a violent but clean collision with Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia the night before? Whatever the reason, Buck and the boys kept their cool because the stakes of retaliation are too high while in the pennant race.
Know this Boston; you can’t get away with that crap and payback is coming in the form of a fastball to the ribs of Pedroia or Ellsbury during the next spring training game or meaningless blow out. Count on it.