Tag:David Ortiz
Posted on: September 26, 2011 6:07 pm

Francona: Yankees 'can do what they want'

BALTIMORE -- Yes, the Yankees rested regulars Sunday, not playing any of them in both ends of a day-night doubleheader against the Red Sox. But no one who watched the weekend series in the Bronx could say that the Yankees didn't try to win.

Will they do the same the next three nights against the Rays, who enter the final series of the season one game behind Boston in the American League wild-card race?

Yankee manager Joe Girardi's Monday night lineup would suggest that the answer is yes, as Girardi included most of his regulars for the opener of the series.

But no matter how Girardi approaches the series, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Monday he'll have no complaints.

"They're a professional team," Francona said. "Saying that, they can do what they want. They've played themselves into that position. I wish we were in that position. If they want to rest guys, they can."

Because the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the second game Sunday, Boston can win the wild card without any help from their rivals. But obviously a Yankee win or two against the Rays would make the Red Sox' task a whole lot easier.

"Our goal is to win the three games [against the Orioles]," David Ortiz said.

Ortiz said he talked to Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano on Sunday, and he took heart from what Cano told him.

"He said, 'I don't like days off,' " Ortiz said.

Does Ortiz think the Yankees will play as hard against the Rays as they did against the Red Sox?

"Hopefully," he said. "That's the way it's supposed to be."
Posted on: September 15, 2011 6:13 pm

Gonzalez, Ortiz return to face Rays

BOSTON -- The Red Sox weren't sure they'd have either Adrian Gonzalez or David Ortiz for the start of their big weekend series against the Rays.

Turns out they'll have both of them.

Ortiz (back) and Gonzalez (calf) are both in the lineup for Thursday's series opener. The Red Sox enter the four-game series with a four-game lead over Tampa Bay in the American League wild-card race.

Manager Terry Francona said both Gonzalez and Ortiz told him they were ready, but also admitted that the decision may have been different if the wild-card race hadn't become so close.

"I haven't been accused of being Ivy League, but to me, these are important games," Francona said.

While the Red Sox seem to be getting healthier, the Rays have a couple of injury concerns. Sam Fuld is out with a wrist injury, and manager Joe Maddon said that closer Kyle Farnsworth remains unavailable with elbow soreness.
Category: MLB
Posted on: September 11, 2011 10:10 pm

3 to Watch: The Let's panic! edition

In the September without pennant races, something strange is developing.

Pennant races.

Real, live pennant races. The kind of races that get you excited, if your team is doing the chasing, or make you nervous, if your team is trying to hold on.

The kind of races that make you . . .

"Hell yeah, you've got to panic," David Ortiz told reporters Sunday, after his Red Sox were swept by the Rays to shrink their wild-card lead to just 3 1/2 games (with the Rays coming to Boston this week for four games).


They know the feeling in Texas, where the Rangers once led the Angels by seven games, but were just 1 1/2 games up as of Sunday morning (and back to 2 1/2 games as of Sunday night).

They're starting to feel it in Atlanta, where the Braves once led the wild card by nine games, then ended a bad week with just a 4 1/2-game lead over the Cardinals.

And yes, they know it in Boston, where they panicked at 0-6, and at 2-10. Yeah, they're going to panic, now that one more week like the last one would see them looking up at the Rays in the standings.

Eight days ago, the computers at coolstandings.com said the Sox were 99.6 percent sure to make the playoffs. Now, after seven losses in eight games (including three straight to the Rays), those same (panicking) computers dropped it to 88.2 percent.

Frank Wren knows the feeling. The Braves general manager said he was watching those computer readings a year ago, watching them drop from 95.8 percent to 60.1 percent.

The Braves did make the playoffs, although their spot wasn't guaranteed until the Giants beat the Padres on the final day of the season, three hours after the Braves played their last scheduled game.

It made for a fantastic final weekend, even if it also made for a lot of nervous moments for Wren and for Braves fans.

For baseball's sake, the best thing that can happen now is that the Red Sox-Rays race goes to the final weekend, that the Rangers-Angels race comes down to the two teams' three-game series in Anaheim the final three days of the season, and maybe even that the Cardinals get close enough for the Braves to shout, "Panic!"

Too much to hope for?

Maybe so, but on Labor Day, even one pennant race seemed too much to hope for.

This was the September without pennant races . . . until it wasn't.

On to 3 to Watch:

1. Since June 29, the Angels are 16-0 when they've started Jered Weaver or Dan Haren in a home game. That's nice, but it doesn't exactly help them this week, with neither Weaver nor Haren starting in a three-game series -- on the road -- in Oakland. The Angels begin a 10-game trip to Oakland, Baltimore and Toronto with Angels at A's, Monday night (10:05 ET) at the Coliseum, with Joel Pineiro on the mound. The last time the Angels were in Oakland, they lost three of four, allowing the Rangers to increase their AL West lead from 1 1/2 games to four games.

2. Should the Braves be worried that they have rookies starting all three games of the series that ends with Marlins at Braves, Wednesday afternoon (12:05 ET) at Turner Field? Not necessarily. The Braves have lost eight of their last 11, but all three wins in that stretch were started by rookies, including one by Randall Delgado, who starts Wednesday against the Marlins.

3. The Cardinals don't have any games remaining against the Braves (or against the Brewers, who they trail by six games in the NL Central). The Rangers and Angels don't meet until the final three games of the season, by which point we'll either have tons of drama or none of it. But the Rays are in Boston this week, for four games beginning with Rays at Red Sox, Thursday night (7:05 ET) at Fenway Park. Unless Tampa Bay stumbles badly in three games before that in Baltimore (and even then, only if the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays at home), this weekend should be interesting. The Rays have Jeremy Hellickson, James Shields, Jeff Niemann and David Price set to go in the series. The Red Sox haven't even announced their starter for Thursday yet, and still don't know whether Josh Beckett will pitch in the series. One last thing to think about (for now) on Rays-Red Sox: If this race goes to the final six days of the season, the Yankees could have a big impact on it, with three games at home against the Sox followed by three at Tampa Bay. Imagine if the Red Sox need the Yankees to beat the Rays for them! Panic!
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:40 pm

Ortiz the voice of peace: 'This ain't no WWF'

BOSTON -- Francisco Cervelli probably shouldn't have clapped. Jarrod Saltalamacchia probably should have chosen his words more carefully.

Good thing we have David Ortiz to put it in perspective.

No, Ortiz said emphatically, he understood what Cervelli did, and certainly didn't think it was worth fighting about. No, Ortiz said just as emphatically, he had no problem with Saltalamacchia suggesting that Cervelli's emphatic celebration had something to do with his Latin American heritage.

"We are like that, for real," said Ortiz, who comes from the Dominican Republic (Cervelli is from Venezuela). "Sometimes we forget where we're playing. The kid [Saltalamacchia] is a great dude, so I don't think he means anything bad.

"He's telling the truth."

Saltalamacchia first told reporters that "it's just the Latin players" who react the way Cervelli did, clapping wildly as he crossed the plate after hitting a home run. Saltalamacchia later said he meant to say it was because Cervelli is a young player.

"Salty comes in every day and gives me a hug, and I'm Latin," Ortiz said. "He's a sweet dude."

Ortiz has been known to irritate pitchers by admiring his home runs, and he defended himself.

"When I go deep, I want to enjoy myself," he said. "People have different ways to celebrate."

But Ortiz, who was involved in an altercation with the Orioles earlier this year, and served a three-game suspension because of it, said he doesn't want or expect his team to fight with the Yankees.

"You're playing baseball, not wrestling," he said. "We got our butts kicked [Tuesday]. All I care about is going out there and whooping their butts. Hopefully people understand, we're not here to fight. I missed three games in Baltimore, when I should have been playing.

"This ain't no WWF. This is baseball."

Posted on: June 29, 2011 7:16 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 10:12 pm

Adrian, Papi and the big Red Sox gamble

PHILADELPHIA -- It seems simple enough.

The Red Sox had one guy hitting .357, with 16 home runs and 71 RBI. They think he's the best hitter in baseball, and they want him in the lineup.

They had another guy hitting .311, with 17 home runs and 48 RBI. He's pretty important to them, too, and they want him in the lineup. Most of all, they don't want him sitting around for the better part of two weeks, losing any kind of rhythm he had at the plate.

And that's how the Red Sox got to where they were Wednesday against the Phillies, with Adrian Gonzalez playing right field (where they'd rather not play him) and David Ortiz playing first base (where no one really wants him to play).

"I told [second baseman Dustin Pedroia], 'Anything up there [in the air] is yours . . . and anything on the ground is yours, too,'" Ortiz said, before taking the field in a game for the first time this year. "I just have to make sure I catch the balls they throw to me."

"[Pedroia] is going to have to cover first base and right field," Gonzalez said, before heading to the outfield for the first time in six years. "Hopefully [starter John Lackey] gets a lot of strikeouts."

And the Red Sox were just hoping no one got hurt.

No one did get hurt, although it's hard to call the scheme a total success, as Gonzalez and Ortiz went a combined 1-for-8 and the Red Sox lost 2-1. Neither Ortiz nor Gonzalez played any significant role in the game on defense, either.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona has talked to Gonzalez numerous times about not trying to do anything extraordinary, and risking injury while he plays in the outfield. Gonzalez has told him repeatedly not to worry, but naturally the manager and the entire Red Sox staff will spend every minute Gonzalez is in the outfield worrying.

"I keep telling them if you fear getting hurt, you might as well not play," Gonzalez said.

It's all a little nuts, but Francona decided it was a better plan than having Ortiz (his regular DH) go through an entire nine-game interleague trip without ever starting a game. And a better plan than having Gonzalez, the leading hitter in the major leagues, sit out a game entirely so that Ortiz could play first base.

"He actually offered [to sit] Sunday [in Pittsburgh]," Francona said. "I said no."

Francona made no commitments as far as playing Gonzalez in the outfield in any of the final four games of this Red Sox road trip, which continues Thursday in Philadelphia and then this weekend in Houston. Ortiz said Wednesday night that he'd been told he's not playing Thursday, but that he didn't yet know about the weekend.

In any case, when Wednesday's game was over, Ortiz could joke about it. Asked how he felt standing at first when big Ryan Howard came to the plate for the Phillies, Ortiz said, "I had a little chat with him. I told him, 'I've got a family at home.'"
Posted on: April 8, 2011 6:22 pm

Ortiz on Manny: 'It's crazy'

BOSTON -- Manny Ramirez was once a huge part of the Red Sox clubhouse.

Manny Ramirez has often been a big topic in the Red Sox clubhouse.

But when the news broke Friday that Ramirez is retiring from baseball because of another drug problem, the Red Sox were far more interested in their first win of the season.

Still, Manny is Manny. It's hard to ignore him.

"It's crazy, man," David Ortiz said. "I don't really know the details of how everything went down. It's sad."

Category: MLB
Posted on: September 25, 2009 7:29 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2009 7:32 pm

Ortiz: 'Little League' approach turned it around

NEW YORK -- David Ortiz said he knows exactly when he got his season turned around.

"When I said, '(Forget) it,'" Ortiz said Friday at Yankee Stadium. "When I played like it's Little League. I'm serious. One day, I woke up and said, 'I guess I've got nothing to lose anymore. I'm going to go to the field today and act like it's Little League.'"

Ortiz said that day, instead of doing all his normal pregame work and preparation, he just went and played the game.

"In Little League, you don't do anything," he said. "You just go and play baseball, right? At this level, it's different. You come in, get your work in, get prepared. I guess I was worried about that more than the ballgame. You want to get so ready and so prepared, and then when the game comes, there's nothing there."

Ortiz said he doesn't remember exactly when all this happened, only that it was quite a while back. Whenever it was, or whatever it was, evidently it worked.

In 92 games since June 6, going through Thursday night, Ortiz hit .266 with 25 home runs and 70 RBIs.

The "Little League" approach, as Ortiz called it, isn't all that unusual. Often when a team is slumping, a manager will call off batting practice and tell his team to cut down on pregame work and just show up at the park ready to play.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 30, 2009 1:37 pm

Not just the Yankees, and not just the Red Sox

So now when the Red Sox come to Yankee Stadium next week, will the fans chant "You do ste-roids!" at David Ortiz?


And when the Yankees go to Fenway Park the following week, Red Sox Nation will chant at Alex Rodriguez again, too.

Let's just be clear on one thing: Steroids never were a Yankees problem, and they're not now a Red Sox problem. No one outside of a few die-hards in New England ever believed that the Red Sox championships of 2004 and 2007 were "clean" or "untainted," no matter how few Red Sox stars appeared in the Mitchell Report.

The Red Sox had steroid users. The Yankees had plenty of them. And so, no doubt, did 28 other teams.

There's not much to take out of the New York Times report today that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were among the players who tested positive for use of performance-enhancing drugs back in 2003. But at least we can stop pretending that one team in baseball was somehow untouched by the widespread use around the sport.

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