David Ortiz on The Big Show: ‘I’m not paying attention to any of [the media's] crap anymore’
|05.20.10 at 6:50 pm ET|
David Ortiz stopped by the Fenway Park studio Thursday afternoon to talk to The Big Show about Mike Lowell’s recent comments, Hanley Ramirez’s situation in Florida and the fans’ and the media’s perception of him during his early slumps of the last two seasons.
“It’s not the fans,” Ortiz said. “It’s the media. It’s the media that’s the one that thinks they’ve got everything figured out. You’ve got guys sitting down out there that have never played the game ever before, talking about how they think I’m supposed to leave, that you are done, that you can’t hit any more, that you can do this or you can do that. You never hit before in your life ever. You know nothing about that. … I’m right here, working hard, doing my thing. I’m not paying attention to any of their crap anymore.”
Ortiz also discussed his upcoming charity event, an “Eat n’ Greet” to benefit the David Ortiz Children’s Fund on May 27 at Big Papi’s Grille in Framingham. Click here for more information.
A transcript of that interview follows. To hear the interview, click on The Big Show audio on demand page.
Now you have eight home runs, but today’s the anniversary of the day that you hit your first one last year. Is it kind of crazy to think that last year at this time you were coming to the ballpark and hadn’t hit one yet?
Well, that’s a hitter thing. There are things that you work on, get better and it makes a difference.
Were you aware that it was the one-year anniversary?
So last year is last year? It’s in the past. It’s not something you ever want to revisit again?
Of course not. Turn the page. I already got paid for last year [laughs].
The Red Sox are near the top of the league in power numbers, even after losing Jason Bay. Does that surprise you?
Not really. We’ve got guys, they know how to swing the bat. They played the game for a long time and are big run producers. The fact that people always have questions about our team and what we are capable to do, and the season is the only way to recover.
Is there any chance Dustin Pedroia will have more home runs than you at the end of the year? Do you guys talk about that?
Pedroia? Pedey’s swinging good. Pedey’s a great hitter. Pedey’s the heart and soul of this ballclub, and whenever you get down to Pedey, it’s good.
What’s your take on Mike Lowell’s situation? He’s questioned the lineup before and said it might be better off if he was traded or released.
Well, if I was Mike Lowell, I would have done that a long time ago, because he’s not a guy that is supposed to be on the bench, sitting down, watching the game. Watching Mikey just watching the game is just not comfortable, so whatever Mike is thinking, I think he has the reason and the right to say what he wants to say and what he feels like.
Aren’t the Red Sox a better team right now with both you and Lowell on the roster?
Well, we’ve been a good team having both of us in the lineup. Like I said, his situation is tough. It’s a tough situation especially for him that he used to play every day and now sitting down the watching the game. I can understand what his point is.
What did you tell Hanley Ramirez to help him get through his situation with the Marlins?
Me and Hanley go way back, and Hanley’s like a little brother to me so I basically told him, “You need to do the right thing. You’re facing a situation, remember you’re the face of that organization and believe it or not, a lot of people are watching you. Every move you make is something that people are going to talk about. It doesn’t matter. You have to make sure everything you do is pretty clear and is the right thing. It doesn’t violate any of the organization rules.”
They understand. He’s a good kid, and he’s one of the best players in the game. Sometimes, it’s frustrating when someone tries to correct you in front of everyone. You’re talking to a man. You’re not talking to a 5-year-old. It goes both ways. I told him, “You need to sit down and talk to your manager. Closed door. You guys figure out what is going to be the best for the organization.”
After all that you’ve done for the fans since 2003, how do you react to fans who abandoned you during your slumps this year and last year?
It’s not the fans. It’s not the fans that come out with that. It’s the media. It’s the media that’s the one that thinks they’ve got everything figured out. You’ve got guys sitting down out there that have never played the game ever before, talking about how they think I’m supposed to leave, that you are done, that you can’t hit any more, that you can do this or you can do that. You never hit before in your life ever. You know nothing about that. … I’m right here, working hard, doing my thing. I’m not paying attention to any of their crap anymore.
What is it about the media or any fans out there that would make you think you’d be done at 34 years old?
To tell you the truth, I’m going to be done when I’ve decided that I’m done, not when the media says that I’m done. I’m nobody to tell you when you’re going to be done. I don’t know anything about your job. … You’re done when you’re done, not when somebody says that you have to be done. That’s been the case here. You struggle for a month, and everybody starts killing you. “You’re done. You can’t hit any more.” … If you pay attention to that, you’ll never come out of it.
How long would you like to keep playing?
Me? I don’t know. A few years.
You’ve said the sportswriters who question you have never played the game. Terry Francona played the game, and he put you down in the order and pinch hit for you in Toronto. Wouldn’t you question him for sending someone up to bat for you in that situation?
I was mad. I was mad. I was totally, absolutely mad. You know that if you ride with me, you’re going to get two things. Either you’re going to win or you’re going to die with me. That’s the way it is. That’s the way it’s been as long as I’ve been here. You have to believe in your players. Period. You chose to have me on your roster since day one. You’ve got to ride with me.
So are you saying on that day Terry Francona didn’t believe in you?
You said it.
Well he must have said it because he sent the pinch hitter up for you.
You brought the case up. I turned the page already. It’s not going to be like that anymore. I guarantee you that.
How much better do you feel knowing that you don’t have to check the lineup every day to see if you’re playing?
Well, I did today. No, that’s how it goes down in the season. I’m the guy that I pull myself together to play the game. I’m not just out there just guessing. I know how hard it is to play this game, and it seems like people just forget about the things that you capable to do.
Now, I’m hitting again. Is that magical? No. You guys saw me hit before. Now, you can guess on a guy that never hit before, and you can be like, “He’s never done it before. I don’t know if he’s going to do it.” But a guy that’s done it tons of times, you still better believe that one day something’s going to happen.
Would you prefer to be hitting fourth?
I’m looking at the laser show coming up. Like Pedey says, the laser show. No, right now we’re just focused on winning games, playing better, making sure that the starting pitcher is what it needs to be to win games. We have a great staff, and everything is currently all over the place. I believe in my teammates. I know they’re going to do better. We’re going to be right there supporting them. They know how the games go. You saw [Clay] Buchholz last night. Outstanding. We have [Josh Beckett] on the DL. Hopefully, he can come back pretty soon, sooner than what we expect because JB’s our ace, and we can’t count without him. Everything’s going back in place slowly, but it’s going to be fine.
Which of the two teams at the top of the division is the more ominous opponent?
We already know that the Yankees are the ones that play the game because that’s a team that you can see more towards the end of the season. But right now, what I think we need to focus on is make sure that those teams that aren’t even good in their division, win those games. Make sure that we can win those games and fight against the good teams, the teams that are playing good. That’s what it comes to at the end.
Is Pedroia a bigger trash talker than other guys you’ve played with?
He is, he is. He’s good man. Pedey’s the kind of guy that when he talks, he gets you going. That’s what I love about Pedey.
Is he a little nuts?
Yeah. You have to be to be that good.
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