Some of you may be too young to remember Casey Kasem. Kasem was famous for playing a long distance request or two on the old America's Top 40 countdown radio program every Sundays. If he was still doing the show today, maybe we could have heard Kasem's docile tone say, "And this one goes out to Alex in New York from David in Boston. The song is by James Taylor and it is called, 'You've Got A Friend.' Just remember, Alex, no matter how bad things get, you do have a friend."
I've been critical of Ortiz in the past for being selfish and putting himself and his stats before the team. While fans revel in Ortiz's batting prowess and larger-than-life stature in this town, I think of him arguing over RBI, called strikes, and bickering about his contract.
And now we have this. Following on the heels of his teammate, Ryan Dempster, making a non-verbal statement by trying to implant a baseball in the ribs of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, Ortiz made some direct verbal statements declaring what Dempster did was wrong.
"I didn't like it. I don't think it was the right thing to do," Ortiz told USA TODAY sports.
I don't think many Red Sox fans think it's the right thing for Ortiz to be speaking up for, arguably, the most hated player in baseball who happens to play for the most hated team for Red Sox fans. Apparently, Ortiz and Rodriguez are good friends off the field. That's nice. You might want to keep that kind of information to yourself if you care to ingratiate yourself with your hometown fans. You, especially, do not want to antagonize your own teammates.
"But we don't all think alike, and the guy who did it, Dempster, is a great guy," Ortiz went on to say in the article. "It's not that I didn't think it was right because Alex and I are friends, because once you cross the white lines, everyone's on their own."
At least Ortiz acknowledges that Dempster, in his first year with the Red Sox, is a "great guy." He also makes sure, in case anyone forgot, that the guy "who did it" is Ryan Dempster by mentioning his name.
Ortiz claims that the Yankees starting pitcher that night, CC Sabathia, suddenly began throwing his fastball five miles per hour faster following the incident. The Yankees became a different team following the incident.
"CC was throwing 91 and started throwing 96. Alex later hit one way out there. You're talking about a good team that you can't wake up. But we learn from our mistakes."
Did Ortiz quietly give a little fist pump when A-Rod hit his home run? When did Ortiz, suddenly, become the judge, jury, and executioner of morality in baseball?
For several years, one of the big concerns over not re-signing Ortiz was the fear he would go to the hated Yankees. Is there any doubt he would have traded his Red Sox for pinstripes without a second thought? While many would have been up in arms, I would have said good riddance.
Ortiz is as selfish as they come. He argues over his hitting stats as if no one else has ever had a hit or an RBI taken away from them by an official scorer's gaffe. He craves the spotlight. He struts around like he owns this town. If ever anything significant happens involving Boston, Ortiz becomes the spokesperson for the team.
I mean, seriously, who doesn't like "Big Papi?" Sounds like "puppy," doesn't it? And who doesn't like puppies?
Me! That's who.
All the guy does is hit. He is a designated hitter. Sure, he holds all these records for all-time hits, home runs, blah, blah, blah, for a designated hitter. Put him in the field for a couple of games, and he has to miss time with a stiff back. Ortiz whined about having to fly cross country to play in San Francisco the day after playing a nationally televised night game in Boston. Isn't that why Boston ran Adrian Gonzalez out of town?
This is the same fan base that has turned its back on allegations of PED use by Ortiz. Of course it is possible for someone who couldn't catch up to a fastball in 2009, a year in which he hit .238, to, suddenly, get his career turned around in his late 30's and hit .318 in 2012 and .320 in 2013. Hey, Barry Bonds did it, right? Oh, right, bad example.
Ortiz was named, along with good friend Manny Ramirez, to have tested positive for using some form of performance enhancing drug in 2003-- yet another good friend who was caught using PEDs. What is that saying about birds of a feather?
Yet the Boston media and fans have been supportive of Big Papi. Now, when the time comes for Ortiz to return the favor and be supportive of a teammate, he decides to side with the enemy.
Go join Dennis Rodman and sit in the stands and watch a baseball game with North Korea's maniacal leader, Kim Jong Un. After you retire, go to Yankee Stadium, pull up a seat alongside Denzel Washington, Jay-Z, and Adam Sandler and cheer on your friends while donning a Yankees cap.
Ortiz's comments are an embarrassment. To quote the Red Sox true captain, Dustin Pedroia, from last year, "That 's not the way we do things around here." If Ortiz was a true leader, he would support his team and his teammates. How can he now show his face in the Red Sox clubhouse after making statements like that?
I've gotten tired of his act-- the whining, the bat flips, the not running down bases, the smashing phones in the dugout. You want to do the kissy kissy with A-Rod like Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson used to do? Not in this f*****g city.