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David Ortiz on ‘bigger than the game’ comments: ‘Who’s David Price?’

06.04.14 at 8:31 pm ET
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CLEVELAND — Through all the back-and-forth regarding the Rays and Red Sox, along with David Price and David Ortiz, one comment truly stuck in the craw of the Sox designated hitter.

Following the incident in which Price hit Ortiz with a first-inning fastball, the Tampa Bay ace went on the Fox television broadcast and said, “Nobody is bigger than the game of baseball, and sometimes the way he acts out there, he kind of looks like he’s bigger than the game of baseball. That’s not the way it is, that’s not the way it goes.”

It was a claim Ortiz continues to take particular issue with. (To listen to the audio, click here.)

“That ain’t me. I never overlook the game, you know? There’€™s never going to be a player bigger than the game,” the DH told WEEI.com prior to the Red Sox‘ series finale against the Indians. “It doesn’t matter if you act like it, if you think you are or if people think that you are. It’€™s not true. Bigger than the game, nobody’€™s ever going to be. Know why? Because you come in, you play, you leave and the game continues.

“The one thing I can tell you about when he says that is he’€™s just trying to look for an excuse to get out of it. That’€™s a dumb-ass excuse, because whoever knows me knows I never act like I’m bigger than the game ever. He just doesn’t understand that he’s not going to win all the time. He’s carried that since last year when we whupped his ass. … It’€™s too bad that MLB sees the way he talked the day that he hit me and the way that he talked the next day and they still haven’€™t followed up with the rules. He basically said that he hit me on purpose, but I’€™m over that. I don’€™t really care about what he said. Who gives a [expletive]? Who is David Price? I don’€™t really care. I’€™m going to continue with what I do. Like it or not, it is what it is.

“I respect the game. I don’€™t think there’€™s a player in the game that can ever be bigger than the game. We’ve got guys that have done a lot of good things for the game, have put up crazy numbers, but we don’€™t give life to the game; the game gives us life. That’€™s why you’€™re never going to be bigger than the game.”

Ortiz had continued to express animosity toward Price Tuesday after Major League Baseball suspended Red Sox pitcher Brandon Workman six games but only fined Price.

It’s a personal conflict Ortiz said is new for him, having never engaged in such a controversy with a single player.

“This is the first one, my first one,” he said. “My first one, but he’€™s got his ego and everybody knows that. He’€™s the kind of guy that thinks he’€™s the [expletive]. You can see it. I’€™m the type of guy that I get along with everybody, I don’€™t care how you are or who you are. You go around the league and hear comments, people talking about him acting all cocky and [expletive]. I like him because I like the way you are and I’€™m going to give you a chance as long as you respect me, but the minute you disrespect me, it’€™s over. It doesn’t take too much.”

Ortiz won’t get a chance to face Price until the teams meet up for a three-game series in St. Petersburg, Fla., starting July 25. Yet the two could briefly become teammates in the All-Star Game. Ortiz is second in the American League designated hitter voting (behind Nelson Cruz), while Price would need a surge prior the festivities, currently carrying a 4.27 ERA.

“I have nothing to say. I’€™m going to talk with my bat. I talk the way I talk,” Ortiz said. “Now, he is the one who started this [expletive] up. If he ever comes up to me and apologize about the [expletive] that he’€™s been talking and doing, I understand, but I don’€™t owe him an apology. I don’€™t have to go and talk to him about anything. You’ve got to man up in what you do. If I were to have screwed up, I’€™d man up, but I didn’t.”

Read More: David Ortiz, David Price, Rays, Red Sox
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