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Red Sox vs. Orioles lineup: Manly men to defend manhood, play nine

A brawl seems likely sooner rather than later, which is very dumb.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
Get ready for more of this crap.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Two days ago, I was all set to use a variant of the “manly men” headline, because it sure seemed like the Orioles/Red Sox feud would continue toward this pointless hellscape (7:10 p.m., NESN). I stopped because at the last minute, in the pregame interviews, players from both teams were contrite enough to convince me to hope for the best.

I no longer hope for the best.

Look. I don’t care if a player used steroids, has “bad” politics or is an asshole as long as they’re generally non-violent. It is hard and wrong to say that there are acceptable types of violence, because even if we find some types of violence understandable, it means nothing to the people on the receiving end of the violence. Which, for what it’s worth, is everyone. No one comes out better for it, neither its “winners” nor its “losers.” This is grade-school level stuff.

This is why it’s so entertaining, of course. Like virtually everything we see on television, it is done for our benefit. If the league wanted to shut it down brawls completely, it would have rules in place that would have had Chris Sale ejected from yesterday’s game immediately; furthermore, if you wanted to watch 60 people fight at once outside of a stadium, you’d be a sociopath. On television, the violence is a self-stable product, virtually irresistible. You can’t always find it, but it’s a guilty please.

Don’t grab it. It goes nowhere. Yes, boys will be boys, but is it too much to ask the Red Sox to act like men? For all the times I’ve defended John Farrell -- most recently two days ago — the way the team has capitulated to Buck Showalter’s long-con is shameful, and it rests squarely on Farrell’s shoulders. I understand one cannot control other adult men, but one can manage them, and things seem very poorly managed right now.

You can judge the lineup changes from the card below. I’m down with these clowns until they simmer down:

Game 27 lineup, May 3, 2017 vs. Orioles

Lineup Spot Orioles Red Sox
Lineup Spot Orioles Red Sox
1 Joey Rickard, RF Dustin Pedroia, 2B
2 Adam Jones, CF Andrew Benintendi, CF
3 Manny Machado, 3B Mookie Betts, RF
4 Mark Trumbo, DH Hanley Ramirez, DH
5 Chris Davis, 1B Xander Bogaerts, SS
6 Jonathan Schoop, 2B Mitch Moreland, 1B
7 Trey Mancini, LF Chris Young, LF
8 J.J. Hardy, SS Marco Hernandez, 3B
9 Caleb Joseph, C Christian Vazquez, C
SP Kevin Gausman, RHP Drew Pomeranz, LHP