Renewed Rivalry

e-mail Pete

For the first time this season, there really is something about which to cheer for the Orioles. Sure they’ve had good wins this year, even one against the Yankees in the Bronx. But Sunday’s 11-4 drubbing of the Yanks made Oriole fans proud like no other win this season. That statement comes with the knowledge that New York was missing many key players. Doesn’t matter. Here’s why.

Rodrigo Lopez went more than six innings of shut out ball before leaving in the 7th with a comfortable lead, and clearly has found his form with battery mate Javy Lopez. A Lopez divided cannot stand. A Lopez united cannot fail.

Bats you hoped might do some damage all season long showed lots of life. Javy of course leading the way with a pair of homeruns, and Kevin Millar’s 3 run bomb actually made interviewing him post game relevant. And he delivered in the locker room too. In regards to Yankee fans at Camden Yards:

“I guess we shut them up.”

Feel good?

The best part though comes from the skipper Sam Perlozzo. He got under the Yankees skin and that’s how you rekindle a rivalry. Corey Patterson stole 3rd in the 7th inning while the Orioles led by six runs. A no-no from baseball’s past as it’s a perceived attempt at running up the score. Now the argument can easily be made, even without Sheffield and Matsui in the lineup, six runs with six outs left is hardly insurmountable for New York. And look at the Orioles mindset, six games under.500 and you want every run you can find.

The move from Patterson, no doubt okayed by Perlozzo, set Yankees 3rd base coach Larry Bowa into a tizzy. He exchanged heated words with Patterson, a conversation continued next inning by 3rd baseman Melvin Mora. And in the clubhouse following the game Yankee manager Joe Torre, in his classic subtle way, let the Perlozzo know he didn’t like it.

“I guess it’s up to the manager to figure out how many runs are enough.”

Again, regardless of who’s right in this situation, what’s beautiful is the Orioles stood tall to the Yankees and never backed down. When Lee Mazzilli ran the club he seemed as concerned with impressing his former team as with beating them. Perlozzo meanwhile, he grew up in Maryland. He hasn’t like the Yankees his whole life. He wants to beat them as a manager, and as a fan.

That’s a huge step in the right direction for this club, and also one in reclaiming Camden Yards from our northern invaders.

e-mail Pete

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