If everything said on Saturday afternoon is to be taken at face value, then Ortiz was as open as he possibly could be when addressing his appearance on “The List” from 2003.
With his father sitting in the front row, Ortiz had another father figure in manager Terry Francona standing just to his right to show his support.
“I was very proud of the way David handled himself, which shouldn’t be a surprise,” Francona told The Boston Globe. “It’s been a long 10 days for him. And as David spoke and [incoming executive director of the MLBPA] Michael [Weiner] spoke, it became more apparent, some of the things that David was dealing with. When we asked for patience, there was a lot of things explained, why there needed to be patience.”
Ortiz apologized to the fans, his team and Francona personally for causing a distraction, and the manager acknowledged that it’s been a difficult week and a half.
“I know it’s been a long 10 days for him,” Francona told The Providence Journal. “David looks to me to be very tired. I think it’s been an emotional week. He looks almost spent. I understand that. I think we’re all a little bit tired.”
Ortiz had support from his teammates as well. Outfielder Jason Bay said that for any player, dealing with something of this nature can’t be easy.
“Whether he says it or not, I think it’ll weigh on anybody a little bit,” Bay told the ProJo. “That’s not something that runs off your back.”
Despite the stress, Bay said Ortiz was honest and direct.
“I thought he handled it well,” Bay said. “I thought he handled it as best he could, with the information that they had given him. I bet a lot of people thought it was a lot of legal-speak or what have you, but that’s the position that he was in.”
Team captain Jason Varitek said that the support system in the clubhouse will continue to be there for Ortiz.
“He’s appeared to be himself and continue to go out there,” Varitek told NESN’s Heidi Watney after the press conference. “I think he’s handled it extremely well. We just had to show him that we have his back and we do support him.”
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