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."