David Ortiz on Ryan Dempster comments: ‘We already turned the page’
|08.24.13 at 2:17 am ET|
LOS ANGELES — David Ortiz was eating breakfast Thursday morning when he saw the scroll across the bottom of the television screen. The ESPN news ticker was highlighting comments Ortiz made to USA Today regarding his displeasure with teammate Ryan Dempster for hitting Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez Sunday night.
Ortiz was stunned.
The designated hitter felt like the news was painting a picture that he and Dempster were feuding over the incident. In fact — Ortiz explained prior to the Red Sox’ game against the Dodgers Friday night — he had already discussed the issue with the pitcher just moments after the visitors half of the second inning concluded, while both were in the Red Sox clubhouse.
“It’s something where we already turned the page,” Ortiz said. “We talked about it during the game. I would say five minutes after that happened, we talked about it. We cleared the air.
“I don’t think I said anything wrong. Dempster understands. My teammates understands. My manager understands. That was the flip of losing the game and that’s the only reason I didn’t agree with it. I told him and he knows. We talked during the game, the minute he came off the mound we talked. And he agreed with me, but he did it because he felt like he had to do it. But it’s over.”
After the USA Today report surfaced, Ortiz and Dempster exchanged texts just to make sure they were still on the same page. The messages were simple:
Ortiz: “I love you, brother.”
Dempster: “I love you, too.”
“There’s nothing going on between us. I love Dempster. That’s my boy,” Ortiz reiterated. “It’s one of those mistakes that happened during the game and you want to make sure it doesn’t happen again because we’re trying to win. It’s not like I’m angry or mad at him just because of what he did, or we’re going to be enemies the rest of the season. No,no,no.
“Nobody is going to pull us apart. He’s got my back and I’ve got his. It’s not like we’re going to create a controversy out of this. No. That’s my boy, and I’ve got his back. He knows I have his back, and he’s got mind. I know that for sure. That drama, we don’t need that stuff. We had enough drama last year. We don’t any of that [expletive] right now.”
Dempster, who is currently serving a five-game suspension for the incident, was unavailable for comment.
“I don’t think the comments David mentioned would have any lingering effects in our clubhouse,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “I do know this: Ryan and David spoke Sunday night, and I think more than anything, David’s comments were coming from the standpoint of not trying to give added incentive to the opponent, regardless of who the opponent is at the time, and just maintain our approach of going out and trying to win a ballgame on a given day.”
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