Orioles manager Buck Showalter:

“I’d like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll,” he said. “You got Carl Crawford ’cause you paid more than anyone else, and that’s what makes you smarter?

Uh. Oh. Rule #1: You never question Theo Epstein. If you do, every single bracelet-wearing, membership-card holding Red Sox fan will come for you — just like Kool-Aid slurper and Boston sportswriter, Gordon Edes:

What goes unsaid, however, by Buck, who may not be PC but is smart enough not to bite the hand that pays him, is that the Orioles have had 13 straight losing seasons not because of their unwillingness to spend money, but because of ownership meddling, unstable management (because of owner meddling), bad drafts, bad trades and bad free-agent signings, all of which has created an environment toxic to the top-shelf free agents, many of whom have been pursued by the Orioles but have said no thanks. All of that has led to a precipitous decline by one of baseball’s proudest franchises. Showalter and Andy MacPhail may succeed in turning things around in Charm City, but let’s be clear about one thing: If Epstein, who launched his baseball career as an intern in the Orioles’ media relations department, had been running things in Baltimore, they would have been winning again long before this.

You have to wonder if Edes was slamming his fingers down on his keyboard when he was typing this up. There’s a lot of venom and bold proclamations in this paragraph. But, that’s what you get when it comes to this fanbase. If they hear the faintest critique of their Child King, they will all come for you, including the local writers.

Deal with it, Boston. Welcome to the Buying Championships Club. We saved you a seat.

Someone questioned the Red Sox front office.

*Props to Louis Winthorpe III and Wade Garrett for also contributing to this post.