By Sean Stackhouse 3/6/2018

The most historic rivalry in the American League East belongs to the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. After the 2017 season, you could make the case the most heated rivals are now the Red Sox and Orioles.

The animosity began last April after Orioles shortstop Manny Machado overslid heading into second base and clipped Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia in the leg. It resulted in an injury that left Pedroia out of the lineup for three games. The Sox immediately retaliated in the same series, when Boston pitchers Eduardo Rodriquez and Matt Barnes both threw at Machado.

James Kwon / WEBN-TV

Then in May, Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy hit Boston’s Mookie Betts with a fastball to the hip. In that same game, Red Sox fans were ejected for shouting racial slurs at O’s outfield Adam Jones. The bad blood only proceeded to get worse as the following day Chris Sale threw behind Machado, prompting a post game tirade from Machado about the events.

The following game Orioles starter Kevin Gausman was ejected after hitting Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts with curveball, which lead to his ejection. Catcher Caleb Joseph was then ejected after arguing the call. That was a lot of drama, but it was also a year ago and Joseph seems to have move past the bad blood.

“Yeah well anybody that was watching the games last year saw some fireworks. a couple bean-ball wars there,” said Joseph. “You play teams a lot. We’ve been beating up on them, they’ve been beating up on us. I think it’s a healthy rivalry, and any time you can fill the stadium with fans that are energetic, that’s always fun for the players.”

Joseph isn’t the only Oriole trying to move past the confrontations. The Orioles Trey Mancini sees it as part of the game. “I think it’s just healthy competition. I mean every team in our division and every division in baseball wants to beat each other and they want to win. We’re all big competitors but also have a lot of respect for each other too. these are some of the greatest players in the world that we play against.”

The Red Sox and Orioles have split their two spring training games so far this year with no issues. Their first regular season series against each other is set for April 21st.

Stay tuned to WEBN.TV for more Grapefruit League coverage throughout the week.