BALTIMORE — You are a citizen of Red Sox Nation, still basking in the glow of last year’s unexpected October magic, but you are having a little trouble getting into an ALCS with no Red Sox, Yankees, Angels, or Tigers.As Mike noted from the Sunday column, Shank has a formula that's lazy and trite - throw out a bunch of names and take it from there. In this case, mention how they're connected to one another and cite the relevant history between the teams (and one of them graduated from Holy Cross!)
This year it’s the Orioles and the Royals — pennant-starved franchises that have lost more games in this century than any other American League teams. The emerging stars of this ALCS are guys named Eric Hosmer and Zach Britton, and the key players could be the long relievers. Not very sexy. You might even have trouble finding the games on your cable system.
Take heart, Sox fans. The Orioles are your hardball cousins, and I am here to tell you why it matters that Baltimore is back in baseball’s Final Four Showcase. You’d do well to adopt the Orioles for the next three weeks. The “modern day” Orioles joined the American League 60 years ago and have played an enormous role in Red Sox history over the last seven decades.
There's just one problem with this column - in the discussion of the 'interaction' of these two franchises, Shank takes great pains to avoid the singular reason it doesn't mean a damn thing - they're rival teams!
If Shank's now 'rooting for' the Orioles, you know who we're rooting for!