Baltimore Orioles: Watch your back


Granted a lot has happened since then, but most fans aren’t going to forget the bad blood between Toronto and the Baltimore Orioles from back in April. Heck, perhaps it came to a head at that time, but it was something that had been bubbling for awhile. Darren O’Day and Jose Bautista of course have had their kerfuffles in the past, and several Oriole hitters were hit back in September in the sequence of games in which the O’s clinched the AL East.

That brought us to this past April, when Bautista decided to “hot dog” his way around the bases after a home run,

Courtesy of Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

something for which he was confronted by the likes of Ryan Flaherty and Adam Jones. Bautista of course proceeded to attempt to “innocently” throw Delmon Young out at first base – for which he was rewarded with an injured shoulder and was out of the lineup for a period. 

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  • The point here is not to argue that Toronto is in the wrong and the Orioles are always in the right – that’s up to the interpreter. Many teams out there such as Toronto and even Kansas City argue that the Orioles seem to be one of those teams who feel it’s their duty to enforce unwritten rules. And if you’re a team that wears their emotions on their sleeves a bit more so than do the Orioles, one might understand how teams feel that way.

    Nevertheless regardless of where you lie in terms of who’s right and wrong, the Orioles have made moves to right the ship in terms of wins and losses in the past few weeks. They can’t allow themselves to get into a back-and-forth with a team like Toronto this weekend. That would be incredibly misguided on their part. Having said that, the Orioles seem to rarely be the team that starts these types of things. That might sound short-sighted, however in general this is my observation. So what do they do if Toronto starts hitting people? Do the O’s just stand there and take it?

    I suppose it matters how things go. Toronto of course knows that the Orioles see themselves as protectors of the unwritten rules. They also know that the Orioles have recently broken out of a big funk from the month of May. So…would they try to “tug on Superman’s cape” in a sense?

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    One would hope not, and in fact there were no theatrics in the previous series between the two teams. But to a certain degree, yes the Orioles should let a few things go if trouble comes down the pike. However at a certain point (let’s say if two or three hitters are hit in a suspicious manner), maybe something would need to be done. The point here is also the same for Toronto; these two teams are in the thick of the race for first in their division. Neither of them can really afford to get into something with the other.

    And bear in mind that it’s not just these games of which we’re speaking. Granted the Orioles don’t want to allow themselves to get sidetracked from just playing baseball this weekend. However the worst-case scenario of course is a bench-clearing brawl. That’s certainly a draconian scenario, but work with me. Those incidents usually end with multiple players from both teams being suspended. While you never back down if someone’s threatening you, can the Orioles really afford that?

    Of course not. And if the Brian Matusz situation is any indication, one could probably expect harsher penalties on the Orioles’ side if such an incident were to occur. But the message here is just that these teams should try to take it easy this weekend. Just play baseball and let whatever is in the past remain in the past.

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