Ortiz wouldn't be surprised if the Orioles win it all

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Ortiz wouldn't be surprised if the Orioles win it all

BOSTON -- If anybody knows the American League East, it's David Ortiz.

And on Sunday morning, Ortiz sat inside the Red Sox dugout at Fenway Park, looking out at the division standings on the Green Monster. What he saw was his team in last place, and the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles tied for first, with the Tampa Bay Rays two games back.

Ortiz broke it down as best he could, before Sunday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, and he praised the three teams that are still in the playoff race.

But he singled out the Orioles.

"That's the team that you want to be like," said Ortiz.

Ortiz pointed to starting pitching. In fact, he stressed productive starting pitching as being the reason those teams are playing for something in September.

But he also pointed out that nobody is quite as good as Baltimore in the final month of the regular season.

"They're doing their thing," said Ortiz. "And pretty much the way they're playing right now, that's how they play every September. The difference is, they've been playing like that through the whole year. But September, for some reason -- you know they would play bad during the year -- then in September, for some reason, I don't know what it is, they would be just the hottest team in baseball the past couple years.

"But they've played well the whole year, and now, in September, they're going back to what they normally do . . . I wouldn't be surprised if they get to be the World Champions. They've got what you need to compete in the playoffs."

Sandoval 'starting from scratch' after career had 'fallen into an abyss'

Sandoval 'starting from scratch' after career had 'fallen into an abyss'

The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."

Tanguay: Could Red Sox ownership be going for it now, then sell the team?

Tanguay: Could Red Sox ownership be going for it now, then sell the team?

Could John Henry sell ownership of the Boston Red Sox anytime soon, or does he want to keep winning?  Shaughnessy, Merloni, and Tanguay debate.