So the Red Sox slugger clearly knows a
championship-caliber team when he sees one. With the Yankees on the brink of a
collapse — another topic Ortiz is familiar with — he has tapped the Orioles as a
legitimate World Series contender.
"If you are in the Yankees' situation, [the Orioles are] the
team you want to be careful [of]," Ortiz said. "They're doing it. I
wouldn't be surprised if they get to be the world champions. They've got what
you need to compete in the playoffs."
Above all, Ortiz showered Baltimore's pitching with
praise. The slugger said the Orioles' pitching staff reminded him of Tampa
Bay's dominant group over the past five years, which has enabled the offense to
play to its potential.
But Ortiz offered Orioles infielder Mark Reynolds — who has emerged as the hottest power hitter in baseball, blasting
10 home runs over his last nine games — the greatest compliment of all.
"[Reynolds], what he's been doing the last week,
it reminds me of young Papi," Ortiz said. "He's been doing it, though.
My boy Adam Jones. They're playing well right now. They're doing their thing.
Pretty much the way they're playing right now, that's how they play every
"The difference is they've been playing like that
the whole year. But September, for some reason, they would play bad for a year
and then September, for some reason, I don't know what it is, they would be the
hottest team in baseball the last couple of years. But they played well the
whole year, and now in September they're going back to what they normally
That could mean a World Series title.