Worse than New York
Though I now live outside Washington, DC and spent most of my adult life a nomad, I will always consider myself Bostonian to the core. There is only one kind of chowda, and only one way to say it. Dunkin Donuts kicks Krispy Crème’s ass. And, of course, New York sucks.
I hate everything about New York – from the filth in the streets to the noise pollution that is their accent. I hate the Yankees, the Giants, and all their fans – certainly in part because much of my childhood misery came at their hands. However, like most rationale Massholes, as much as we hate our neighbor to the south, we have to respect them. New York is a strong, important city with character and the Yankees and Giants have great traditions of winning.
The same cannot be said for the landfill three hours further south. Baltimore has not one redeeming quality. I’d rather live in Baghdad, again, than spend more than an hour in that cesspool.
Baltimore, a city that burned itself to the ground in a race riot two years ago and needed the National Guard and 1,000 police officers to restore order, still somehow presumes to lecture Boston on racism. I get it, the Red Sox were the last team in baseball to integrate. Yeah, it was almost six decades ago. Progress has been made.
Maybe they haven’t heard that Red Sox principle owner John Henry is so overwhelmed with guilt that he doesn’t sleep well? The sport’s most aloof owner is “haunted” by the ghost of Tom Yawkey, who – like Scrooge’s Marley – apparently walks the concourses of Fenway Park in the dark of night howling racial epithets.
Perhaps it was Yawkey’s ghost who threw racial slurs at Adam Jones on that fateful night in May. That’s the only plausible explanation how in 2017, in a crowd of a thousand cellphone cameras, nobody caught the incident on video, nobody saw who said it, and not a single witness has been found. I’ve seen enough Discovery Channel to know you can’t see ghosts. It couldn’t possibly be that Adam Jones wasn’t telling the truth or just hates a divisional rival. Of course not.
Besides Jones, of course, my least favorite bird has to be Manny Mochado. Mochado spiked Pedroia on a dirty slide back in April and Pedroia hasn’t really been healthy since. If there were any justice in baseball he’d take a heater in the ribs every at bat in Fenway for the rest of his career.
The O’s are led by an equally unbearable ass. Buck Showalter once managed the Yankees, but since landing in “Charm City” has found the nerve to complain about baseball’s uneven financial playing field. Even more than the fact that he’s a hypocritical ass, I hate that he absolutely owns the Red Sox. Since taking over in 2011 the Orioles lead the head-to-head matchup with Boston 72-56. Thankfully, he’s simply awful in the post season, having one exactly one post season series in 19 years and posting a 9-14 record.
Showalter and his team love to talk about “playing the game the right way” and the unwritten rules of baseball. Save it. You haven’t even been to a World Series since 1983. Please stop talking until you do.
The truly sad thing is that the Orioles are actually Baltimore’s likeable team. Led by the whiniest coach this side of the University of Michigan, the Ravens may be the most disgusting franchise in all major North American sports.
I get the whole Edger Allen Poe thing, but let’s face it, only reason they chose the Raven as their mascot is that the NFL wouldn’t let them put the image of a battered spouse on their helmets. The greatest players in the history of the franchise are a murder and two spousal abusers. By the way, brave stance there with Ray Rice – once the video leaked anyway. Terrell Suggs? Oh, he’s still productive on the field so let’s not discuss his domestic abuse history.
The Ravens aren’t just bad, they’re stupid. Baltimore once made Joe Flacco the highest paid player in league history – the self-appointed “elite” QB with a career QBR lower than Rich Gannon. Rich Gannon. Take a moment and let that sink in. And, of course, who can forget the 2015 AFC Divisional playoff game when New England twice took advantage of the same innovative, but fully-legal, formation to conceal eligible receivers to get critical first downs on scoring drives against Baltimore.
Harbaugh, of course, lost his mind – first on the field with the officials, then in the post-game press conference, and finally in the off season when Baltimore joined other teams to petition the league to change the rules. To this day, Harbaugh cries foul, despite the fact that the league has confirmed time and again that the formations were legal.
The Ravens didn’t make the playoffs last year. They probably won’t this year either. Neither of those facts will stop Harbaugh from being a whiney sideline diva.
One Good Thing
We are a week away from the final Red Sox – Orioles series of the year. Baltimore will most likely miss the post season again – for the fifth time in Showalter’s eight years as manager. With any luck they will finish below .500. But, as we head into this final series, we should recognize that Baltimore has in fact given us one thing for which we should be thankful: the HBO series The Wire. It’s saying something that this city’s greatest contribution is a cable drama about their crime and political corruption. As we assess the Orioles and Ravens, their contemptible players, their unlikeable leaders, and their seemingly unending jealousies of the Red Sox and Patriots, I offer this final thought, from The Wire’s great warrior poet Omar Little: “you come at the king, you best not miss.”