When is Boston going to stop praising every breath David Ortiz takes and realize he is actually one of the most selfish players on the team, possibly in the entire league? Ortiz is without question a clutch hitter. He has been a great bat in the middle of the Red Sox’s lineup for over a decade now. However, he is not the type of player who should be a leader on this team. He is selfish, a bad influence on the young players on the team, and incessant complainer, yet Boston continues to believe he can do no wrong.
Let’s start in 2009. A report with names that failed drug tests in 2003 was released and David Ortiz’s name appeared on it. He stood up there and said he would get to the bottom of it. Has anybody heard a anything about that since or did everybody just give him a pass because he’s Big Papi and if he said he didn’t do it, he didn’t do it?
Fast forward two years, and the Red Sox, who had been the best team in baseball over the summer months, are about to collapse in a historic manner. Why did they collapse? Because the majority of the players on the team were too concerned with their own personal stats than the well-being and success of the team. There was no better example of this than when Ortiz barged into Terry Francona’s press conference demanding to speak with him because he was not credited with an RBI.
Ok, that was a one time thing, right? Nope.
2014 has seen Ortiz complain multiple times about the official rulings that the score keeper has given him. He first challenged what was originally ruled an error on a pop-up behind second base that Texas Rangers' second baseman Rougned Odor let drop. Odor did not get any leather on it, which was Ortiz's argument. While that is the rule of thumb in the Major Leagues, it is a stupid rule; he should have caught it. However, that is on MLB, not Ortiz. The more outrageous incident came in mid-June. Ortiz hit a hard grounder to Twins' first basemen Joe Mauer. Mauer attempted to backhand it, and misplayed the ball. It was ruled an error. Ortiz motioned up to the score keeper to show his disagreement with the call.
Well he was just caught up in the moment, right? Nope.
After the game, a game in which the Red Sox won in dramatic fashion with back-to-back home runs by Ortiz and Mike Napoli in the bottom of the ninth, instead of brushing the incident aside when asked about it in the post-game interview, Ortiz proceeded to slam the Red Sox scorekeeper saying that he is supposed to have the home team's back. First of all, they are not supposed to have the home team's back; they are supposed to be unbiased. Secondly, of course they have the home team's back, but you do not vocalize that. Major League Baseball once again sided with Ortiz and awarded him with a hit. A decision I once again disagreed with.
That play actually did not matter in the slightest. Ortiz reached first base either way. Does that sound like someone who cares about the team more than his own personal stats?
Ortiz is well known for pimping home runs. David Price had something to say about it earlier this year when he plunked Ortiz for admiring a home run he hit last season. I do not believe that watching your home run is the worst thing in the world, but when you do it literally every single time, it gets annoying. Ortiz took pimping a home run to a whole new level as he watched a home run (pictured above), then basically walked around the bases. His "trot" was recorded at an MLB record 33 seconds.
However, his latest "pimping" action came in a game versus the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night. He pimped a walk. This was one of the most despicable, arrogant moves I have ever seen, yet nobody says anything about it. If I'm Neil Ramirez, the pitcher who issued the walk, I would put one right in his ribs the next time he came to the plate.
Here are a few more example's of why Ortiz's behavior is getting unbearable...
He does not run anything out. If he is so concerned about his stats, he should run it out because if a ball is misplayed, he could reach. Wait, never mind. That would not matter because he does not care about reaching base and starting a rally for the team, he just cares if he gets awarded hits. Is this the kind of guy you want as a role model for the young players trying to break through?
He was overly dramatic looking for attention as he demolished the dugout phone in 2013.
He is always complaining about something. He just complained about the schedule saying that he has never in his career seen anything like what happened last week when the team had to fly from the West Coast to the East Coast after a night game and play the next day. However, they did not have to play the next day; they were actually off. Once again reminiscent of the complaining and excuse-making from the 2011 Red Sox team.
He apparently ran out of things to complain about with his own team, as he now has moved on to the Chicago Cubs saying the reason they have not won anything in forever is because all of the day games. Just stop, Ortiz.
Let's also not forget that he has never watched a called strike and not argued the call, and that action has without question rubbed off on other players on the team.
He thinks that everybody has it out for him, but in reality, he has it great. It does not matter what he does, everybody in Boston, with the exception of Dan Shaughnessy and myself, just chalk it up to Big Papi being Big Papi.
Wake up, people. Ortiz needs to cut the crap and you all need to stop letting him off the hook for everything.
Follow Sam on Twitter @SamPericolo