David Ortiz doesn’t get what all the fuss is about.
Ortiz rubbed some people the wrong way earlier this week when he told USA Today Sports that he didn’t think that Ryan Dempster drilling Alex Rodriguez during Sunday’s Red Sox-Yankees game was the right thing to do. Ortiz still stands by his comments, but he also thinks that everyone is blowing the whole situation out of proportion.
“Like I said, when I talked about this, I made very clear why I didn’t like A-Rod getting hit at the time,” Ortiz told reporters before Friday’s game in Los Angeles. “If people want to make a big deal about it, I don’t give a flying [expletive]. That’s me. I said what I feel and I tried to say it right. I’m here to win games. I’m not here to be mad at nobody.”
Ortiz told USA Today Sports that he didn’t think hitting Rodriguez was the right thing to do because it “woke up a monster” in the Yankees. The Red Sox ended up losing 9-6 on Sunday, with Rodriguez even going deep off Dempster later in the game. Ortiz said Friday that the game’s end result is what’s important, and that his disapproval over Dempster plunking A-Rod has nothing to do with his friendship with the Yankees slugger.
“All I said was that I didn’t think that hitting A-Rod was right at the time,” Ortiz said. “And it was because that kind of woke them up and we ended up losing the game. Did I lie about that? I think it was what everyone saw.
“I didn’t say that I was mad at my teammate for hitting A-Rod, or I was mad because he hit A-Rod. No, no, no. I said it because I think we’ve got make sure to win every game possible. We’ve got Tampa breathing down our neck and they had already won that day. That’s all I mean. I didn’t mean anything else.”
The Red Sox entered Friday’s action with a one-game lead over the Rays in the AL East. Each game is extremely important, so dropping a rubber match to the Yankees on the national stage before heading out West certainly didn’t sit well with Ortiz. The nine-time All-Star said that he has spoken with Dempster since making his polarizing comments, though, and that the two are on the same page.
“He knows that I have nothing against him,” Ortiz said. “That’s my boy. He’s my boy. But the thing is that we’re here to back each other up and when I screw up as a teammate, they will let me know. He knows that. If he feels like he wants to do that, or whatever, fine. But he knows what happened after.
“I’m pretty sure he understands. It’s not like we’re trying to fight or I’m trying to be his dad. It’s what we’re here for. But I don’t know why the [media] is making a big deal about it. I guess they’ve got nothing else to talk about. This isn’t something to make a big deal out of. It is what it is.”
Dempster is in the midst of serving a five-game suspension for hitting A-Rod. However, there’s still the possibility that the Yankees could take matters into their own hands and drill a Red Sox batter at some point down the road.
“That’s up to them. I’ve got no control over that,” Ortiz said. “At least they have a reason.”