This just in: David Ortiz is
bigger than the Red Sox.
In a bold move designed to show
that the NBA and NFL are not the sole preserves of planet-sized egos, Ortiz
proclaimed his dissatisfaction at being pinch-hit for recently during his
“You know that if you ride
with me, you’re going to get two things. Either you’re going to win or you’re
going to die with me. That’s the way it is. That’s the way it’s been as long as
I’ve been here. You
have to believe in your players. Period. You chose to have me on your roster
since day one. You’ve got to ride with me.”
In other words, the Red Sox – his
employers – are never allowed to pinch hit for him or drop him for a game
unless he requests/desires it.
Never mind that the team also
carries on its roster 4-5 bench (i.e. non-starting) players whose role is in
part to pinch-hit when the matchups favour it. Never mind that he was sporting
a .154 average at the time. Never mind that his manager was…well, managing the
game to try to win. To Ortiz, losing that game should have been less important
than riding with him.
It’s not that one can’t
understand Ortiz’s feelings – he’s been the man in Boston for five years,
particularly since Manny Ramirez sulked his way out of town two years ago, and must
have felt totally humiliated to be pinch-hit for.
“To tell you the truth”, he
continued, “I’m going to be done when I’ve decided that I’m done, not when the
media says that I’m done”.
Well he’s half-right of course –
the media will probably not have anything to do with his eventual retirement,
but if he goes out when he decides that he’s done he’ll have to show the kind
of enlightenment and self-awareness that’s clearly escaping him at the moment.
Typically it’s lack of job offers that push players to retirement – not a
decision on their part that they’re done.
The newly-penitent Hanley Ramirez must be grateful – Ortiz’s pout has him relegated to old news.