BOSTON — David Ortiz’s bat flip heard ‘round the world Sunday ticked off some people, most notably Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer.
The Red Sox slugger just isn’t sure why.
Ortiz, who traded barbs with Archer after Sunday’s game at Tropicana Field, reiterated before Monday’s series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park that everyone needs to take a chill pill. Bat flip or no bat flip, baseball is a game filled with various personalities.
“Nobody’s going to get me walking away from what I do. I’ve been doing this for years. If you don’t like it, stay away,” Ortiz said Monday in response to claims he thinks he’s bigger than baseball itself. “You’re not going to stop me from doing what I do. I try not to stop anyone from doing what they do. Anytime I do something, it’s like it’s the worst. … It’s part of the game. That’s what it is.”
Rays ace David Price criticized Ortiz during last year’s ALDS for admiring a home run a bit longer than he would have liked. Price then drilled Ortiz earlier this season, after which he made more pointed comments toward the nine-time All-Star. Ortiz blasted Price in response.
Archer received his first taste of Ortiz’s flair Sunday, when Boston’s polarizing designated hitter launched a three-run homer that paved the way for a 3-2 Red Sox win. Ortiz tossed his bat and slowly trotted around the bases, prompting Archer to call out Ortiz after the game for showboating too much. Archer followed up Monday, stating that he never saw Hall of Famer Hank Aaron flip his bat after a home run.
Ortiz is taking the criticism in stride.
“It’s a game, man,” Ortiz said Monday. “Like I said (Sunday), there’s more sensitivity these days than there used to be. There’s not much you can do about it. You’re not going to make everyone happy, basically. It’s like whenever I do something it bugs the (expletive) out of people. That’s me, man. I’m not going to change it.”
For years, Red Sox fans witnessed Manny being Manny. Well, Papi’s going to Papi, regardless of any outside disapproval.