By: Evan Singleton
With all of the buzz around the Pedroia-Machado-Barnes-Sox-Orioles incident, there is a strong possibility of a true, hard-nosed, down and dirty rivalry coming to life. Yes, these two teams are in the same division, but is there now something more? Something that'll turn games against one another into blood baths? Are the Red Sox and Orioles now true rivals?
My answer is no. Yes, there might be some recent bad blood between these two squads, but there is nothing pushing this over the slight rivalry that it already is.
Think about it... Red Sox fans are, and have been in the past couple weeks, more concerned with the actions of Pedroia (regarding the Machado slide and Barnes head-throwing) rather than the tension between the two teams. These two teams play each other a lot. And when the games and seasons are competitive there will always be a "rivalry." However, it is not and will never be a Red Sox-Yankees type of thing.
This incident was more internal than anything.
The one thing I will say is that Machado might have some bad blood and hatred towards the Sox. That, I can see. I would not blame him for that. However, wouldn't you agree that it takes more than one player to start a rivalry? "But Russell and Wilt fronted a Celtics-Lakers rivalry" Yes, that is true, but that was years and years of two elite teams competing and fighting over and over again. So, in this case, a Machado-Barnes or even a Machado-Red Sox rivalry does not turn this into a Red Sox-Orioles or Boston-Baltimore thing.
As bad as this got, I will say again that it was more of a "How do you feel about Pedroia's actions" thing. Not a "Screw Manny Machado." Not a "Screw the Orioles." That is where rivalries start. With hatred. And there is no new hatred that has come from the incident.