David Ortiz got his way.
The Red Sox slugger caused a stir last Wednesday at Fenway Park after official scorer Bob Ellis handed Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer an error rather than award Ortiz a hit on a ground ball in the seventh inning of Boston’s 2-1 win. Ellis changed his ruling Monday, giving Ortiz a single and stripping Mauer of the error.
On the play in question, Ortiz’s ground ball to the right side was knocked down by Mauer. The Twins were unable to record an out, and Ellis ruled the play an error despite Mauer dropping to the ground while attempting to make the play. The official scoring didn’t sit well with Ortiz, who gave a thumbs down and yelled up to the Fenway Park press box before again criticizing Ellis’ ruling after the game.
Major League Baseball executive vice president Joe Torre issued a statement two days later in which he scolded Ortiz for the public criticism, which became a major talking point despite Boston’s victory.
The original scoring didn’t impact the game. Ortiz still reached base, and the Red Sox still won in dramatic fashion after Ortiz and Mike Napoli crushed back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the 10th inning. In this instance, the squeaky wheel got the oil.
Ortiz was apologetic upon learning Monday’s news, however. Big Papi told reporters in Seattle that he acted out of frustration and was wrong for criticizing Ellis’ original scoring.
“All I have to say is I know I owe an apology to MLB, Mr. Joe Torre, even the scorekeeping guys,” Ortiz said, via the Boston Herald before the game. “I know that I had frustration come out that way, and that’s not what you really want. You don’t want things to be like that and everything. But this has been a season already that has been jam-packed with frustration.
“At the end of the day, our job is based on results. I sit down and watch that TV every night after the game and I go 0-for-4, and all people talk and bitch about is why I’m not hitting .300. We are a family that of course needs to protect each other. The whole week has been about me protecting over a hit. There’s a lot of people mad at me because I argued something that I didn’t think I should get. I don’t blame them. I’m not apologizing just because I got that result. It’s because the message was spread out based on frustration. That’s why I’m apologizing.”