The season hasn't even started yet and tempers are flaring in the American League East. But it's not between the Red Sox and Yankees.
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter had this to say to Men's Journal magazine:
"Iíd like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll. You got Carl Crawford ícause you paid more than anyone else, and thatís what makes you smarter? Thatís why I like whipping their butt. Itís great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying, ĎHow the hell are they beating us?í Ē
Epstein has not yet issued a response.
Meanwhile, didn't Showalter once manage the well-funded Yankees? Or the Diamondbacks in 2000 when they had what was then a healthy payroll of $77 million?
The Sox should be worried about Baltimore in a few years. As soon as the Orioles fire Showalter, they'll win the World Series. That's how it worked in New York and Arizona.
UPDATE, 11:13 p.m.: Epstein declined response via email.