BOSTON (CBS) – Fresh off a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles, the Boston Red Sox are in first place in the AL East.
But their 55-35 record is not just because of the team’s $160 million payroll, like some players alluded to over the weekend.
“We have some youth too,” said Captain Jason Varitek. “So people can literally kiss my rear end. That’s enough on that one.”
Orioles reliever Kevin Gregg was very vocal after Friday night’s game, after he was ejected for having words (and fisticuffs) with David Ortiz. Gregg threw inside at Ortiz three times, and then yelled at the Red Sox DH to run out a pop fly on the next pitch.
Ortiz charged Gregg, some punches were thrown (but not landed) and pair of Sox and Orioles were ejected.
After the game, Gregg said he wanted people to know the Orioles were not afraid of the Red Sox and their “$180-million payroll.”
“It’s part of the game. There’s going to be good teams, there is going to be bad teams,” said Ortiz after Sunday’s 8-6 win. “There is going to be guys that are super stars making a lot of money, there are going to be horse-#### players that don’t make any.”
“I don’t think he’s jealous,” Ortiz said of Gregg and his comments. “I think it was just the moment. That’s why I didn’t want to talk to you guys the first night and say anything stupid. When you’re fired up, your reaction pretty much isn’t the right one.”
“I bet you he would love to play for a team like this one,” said Ortiz.
The fireworks continued on Sunday, with Sox rookie starter Kyle Weiland and manager Terry Francona ejected for hitting Orioles DH Vlad Guerrero. Orioles reliever Mike Gonzalez and manager Buck Showalter ejected after Gonzalez threw behind Ortiz.
Before the season began, Showalter took a shot at Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein saying he would like to see Epstein succeed on a lower market team without a high payroll.