Hopefully, the Orioles and Red Sox are ready to put their feud in the rear view mirror

Baseball grudges die hard, as we all saw earlier this week in San Francisco, but the Orioles and Red Sox need to put their month-old feud behind them.

There are more important things for both teams to worry about than settling an old score.


The four-game series that opens tonight at Camden Yards is certainly huge for an Orioles team that has been slumping lately and just got off the mat to win a series against the New York Yankees.

The Sox are finally playing well and have passed the O's in the standings. They need to keep winning and the Orioles have shown a penchant for beating their AL East rivals this year. Their record inside the division is 19-11.

The Red Sox will be playing without Dustin Pedroia, who is back on the disabled list because of an injury unrelated to the hard slide by Manny Machado that touched off all that unpleasantness in late April and early May. They also are just getting their starting rotation back up to speed, with David Price set to make his second start this weekend after coming off a lengthy stay on the disabled list.

Still, while everyone probably agrees that it's time to move forward, there is always the possibility that a legitimately errant pitch finds a hitter on one of these two teams and reignites bad feelings or leads to an unnecessary ejection that affects the competitive chemistry of what should be an entertaining series.

If you want to know how easy it would be for that to happen, remember how Kevin Gausman  was thrown out of a game in Fenway Park for hitting Xander Bogaerts with a 75-mile-per-hour breaking ball. Stuff like that happens when tensions are high, and in that case, even the umpires got caught up in it.

There's also the influence of the media and the fans on situations such as this. Every inside pitch is going to evoke a response in the stands, which often does have an effect on the emotions on the field.

THe Orioles don't need any more of that nonsense and -- you would think -- neither do the Red Sox, though the gratuitous purpose pitch by Sox ace Chris Sale in Boston leaves room to wonder if cooler heads have prevailed in the Boston clubhouse.

We won't have to wait long to find out.


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