David Ortiz had a home run in the 3-2 Red Sox win Sunday at Tampa Bay. Good for him. He’s done it before and he’ll probably do it again. When Ortiz flipped his bat and stood at home plate to watch the ball, he showed why he is the most hated likeable player in baseball.
A home run is great. A home run that gives your team the lead is great. Ortiz acted like he had won the game for Boston then and there in the third inning. Even though neither team scored the rest of the game, it was premature for Ortiz to mock Chris Archer and the Rays so early in the game. With so much time remaining, he is lucky that Archer didn’t respond by hitting the next batter, let alone Ortiz later in the game.
David Ortiz takes offense to getting hit; he made it known in a series earlier this season against the Rays. David Price hit Ortiz, and Ortiz couldn’t simply walk to first base like a man and wait for his teammates to drive him in. He had to chirp and mouth off against a player Boston would certainly be trying to acquire at the trade deadline if they were in the playoff race – except they aren’t.
The Red Sox are in last place in the AL East. Ortiz may have 25 home runs on the season, but his attitude isn’t going to help the Red Sox at all. Teams tend to play with a chip on their shoulder against guys like Ortiz, especially when they constantly make themselves the center of attention. You would think that players would act a little more professional when their team isn’t playing very well. Not Big Papi.
Would Ortiz have had the same reaction were he facing a different pitcher? A different team? A veteran pitcher? I think he still is trying to show up the Rays for the feud with Price, and I hope he wouldn’t have the tenacity to act that way against teams all the time. Ortiz may have a flare to him, but I would not have a problem with a pitcher throwing inside more often than not or showing up Ortiz after striking him out.
For someone who acts as friendly and likable as Ortiz, he sure does have an attitude when he steps between the lines. It’s not an attitude of trying to win; it’s an attitude of “I am better than you, and I’m going to tell you about.” Ortiz isn’t Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds. He needs to take a chill pill, get a reality check, or whatever you want to call it. Nobody is bigger than the game no matter how much they try to act like it.