Baltimore's Big Move

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Baltimore's Big Move

It's been a while since the Red Sox (or their fans) have had any reason to fear the Baltimore Orioles.

In fact, you probably have to go all the way back to 1997 the last season Baltimore finished with a winning record to find a time when a visit from the O's garnered anything more than chuckle, or indifferent shrug.

"Oh, the Orioles are in town? That's cool. But I think I'll watch something else."

Anything else.

But despite all that, there's no question that the Orioles are getting better. That Buck Showalter has instilled a competitive spirit into the clubhouse. That younger guys like Adam Jones and Matt Wieters are finally starting to realize their potential. That, for the first time in a long time, there's reason for optimism in Baltimore.

They arrive at Fenway tonight with a 16-9 record. They're 8-2 in their last 10 games. And you know there's nothing in the world this team wants more than to pile on Boston's baseball pain and embarrass the Sox in front of their home crowd.

Make no mistake, the Orioles hate Boston. They're to the Sox what the Buffalo Bills are to the Pats. The lovable losers that, over time, have built up so much jealousy and rage over, that they live for Boston failure. That's why they celebrated after knocking the Sox out in Game 162 of last season, and why they're no doubt getting a kick out of the way Bobby V and company have started this one.

In the past, an Orioles team would come into Fenway feeling over-matched and intimidated, and the result was predictably ugly. The worst stretch occurred between 2006-2009, when the Sox amassed a 55-11 record against the O's. But in recent years, Baltimore has narrowed the gap. In 2010, the teams tied the season series 9-9. Last year, the Sox eked out a 10-8 advantage.

Is this the year Baltimore finally gets the best of Boston?

Can't say it would be a surprise.

Then again, the last time the Red Sox lost a season series to the Orioles

Thing didn't turn out so bad.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Brady on Thomas criticism: 'I love Earl . . . Wish him the best'

Brady on Thomas criticism: 'I love Earl . . . Wish him the best'

Tom Brady was getting hit from all sorts of different angles on Saturday night. Not only was he dealing with Texans pass-rushers Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney, he was also catching social-media shrapnel from Earl Thomas and Ray Lewis. 

Thomas was adamant that Brady had an easy road every year because he played in the AFC East. Lewis, meanwhile, got on Brady for complaining to officials when he thought they should have called a penalty for roughing the passer. 

On Monday, joining WEEI's Kirk and Callahan program, Brady responded to both. 

"I don't think I've ever been one to, you know, say something negative about anybody," Brady said of Thomas, who missed the end of the season with a broken leg. "It's just not my personality. I love Earl. I think he's a hell of a player. I really wish him the best in his recovery."

When it came to Lewis' critique, Brady acknowledged he complained to the officials. And he noted that it might've worked. Soon after he threw a fit when a flag wasn't thrown, the Patriots did pick up 15 extra yards when Clowney was tagged with a roughing-the-passer call.

"We had a lot of battles with Ray on the field," Brady said. "And yeah, I would love to try to make sure the officials are paying close attention. If we can get one of those 15-yard penalties, those are important."

Brady on Brown Facebook video: Wouldn't go over well with Belichick

Brady on Brown Facebook video: Wouldn't go over well with Belichick

We know how Bill Belichick feels about social media. For years now he's been openly mocking the names of different platforms. 

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How then would Belichick feel about one of his players streaming his postgame speech live to an online audience of thousands? Probably not great. 

"That's against our team policy," Tom Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday morning. "I don't think that would go over well with our coach."

Brady was referencing the video posted to Facebook Live by Steelers wideout Antonio Brown late Sunday night. With over 20,000 fans watching, Brown streamed the postgame locker room prayer as well as Tomlin's speech. 

Tomlin called the Patriots a-holes, and he made note of the fact that because the Steelers-Chiefs game had been pushed to Sunday night the Patriots had a day-and-a-half more to rest and prepare than the Steelers did. Then when he spotted a player on his phone, Tomlin told his players to get off social media -- all while Brown continued to stream from behind a bank of lockers. 

"Every coach has a different style," said Brady, who recently began using an Instagram account. "Our coach, he's been in the league for 42 years and he's pretty old school. He's not into social media, and I think he lets everyone know that. I think our team has a policy. We don't show anything that should be private because he feels when we are inside our stadium, inside the walls, there has to be a degree of privacy that we have. What's done in the locker room should stay in the locker room."