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David Ortiz on Curt Schilling Twitter controversy: ‘It makes you angry’ 03.02.15 at 7:39 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz can understand Curt Schilling‘s frustrations.

Not only is Ortiz also living the life of a high profile sports figure immersing himself in the world of Twitter, but he has experienced the good and bad when it comes to using the social media tool for personal recognition.

It’s why Ortiz exhibited a passionate response when informed of the Schilling saga, in which the former pitcher’s post congratulating his daughter, Gabby, led to some vicious tweets directed at the high school senior.

(To read more about the Schilling situation, click here for columns by John Tomase and Jerry Thornton. Schilling is scheduled to appear on the Dennis and Callahan Show Tuesday morning.)

“It’€™s personal,” said Ortiz. “I tweeted about my daughter graduating a while ago and most everybody was supportive. I think one or two people put up something stupid and you try to not pay attention to that but you see it. Every man would want to congratulate their kids. When you talk about your son or your daughter graduating, you’€™ve made it. You put a lot of work into it so your kids can be somebody in the future for society. Every time I heard somebody’€™s kid graduating I feel proud because I know how much it takes. So for anybody to criticize that, it’€™s wrong.

“Now I’€™m going to dig into it because I’€™m going to support him 100 percent. If you have some personal issues with Curt about something he has done before, that’€™s your problem. But now, when he’€™s tweeting about his daughter, you respect that because if you’€™re the one tweeting about your daughter graduating you like to hear good things.”

Ortiz explained that the best course of action for Twitter trolls is to look the other way, but often times that’s easier said that done.

For instance, just recently he was put to the test with what would appear to be a seemingly congratulatory post for his native country’s birthday.

“The other day I tweeted something about Indepedence Day back in [the Dominican Republic],” Ortiz said. “I tweeted in Spanish and English. I first tweeted it in Spanish and then English because I wanted everybody to understand what I was trying to say. This jerk comes out of nowhere telling me that wrote it wrong in Spanish. But the way he wrote it was wrong. It pissed me off because, first of all, he didn’€™t know how to write something in Spanish, and No. 2, you’€™re trying to get me to write something in Spanish when you can’€™t even in Spanish. I put something back, but I took it off.

“It’€™s hard, I’€™m not going to lie to you. The best thing to do is just leave it alone but there are always going to be jerks out there trying to get your attention.”

Still, as much as Ortiz understands the dynamic of social media criticism, when ridicule of family members enter into the conversation then he — like most — still has a difficult time understanding such actions.

“It’€™s kind of hard,” he said. “I know there are a bunch of [expletives] out there just waiting for you to say something or to do something so they can criticize you no matter what you say or what you do. Why would you criticize guy that has been through the whole thing he’€™s been through, and then they’€™re talking about his daughter who is graduating, for God’€™s sake? Really. Why would you criticize something like that. It makes you angry.”

(To view David Ortiz’s Twitter account, click here.)

Read More: 2015 spring training, David Ortiz,
Commissioner Rob Manfred: ‘I don’t foresee the kind of problems that [David Ortiz] does’ regarding new pace-of-play rules 02.28.15 at 10:21 am ET
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David Ortiz was very outspoken earlier in the week when he became aware of the new MLB rules regarding hitters in the effort to speed up the overall pace of play.

Commissioner Rob Manfred responded to Ortiz’s comments and the new rules in general on Friday when speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston.

Ortiz said during his press conference that he didn’t feel the players were given much input in the changes. Manfred said the MLB Players Association as a whole worked together with the league on it, and he added he doesn’t “foresee the kind of problems” that Ortiz does.

“I think that, across the unit, across the bargaining unit, we will get really good cooperation on pace of game,” Manfred said. “We made the agreement with their certified bargaining representative, and I don’t foresee the kind of problems that Mr. Ortiz does.”

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter on Thursday) reported the first violation of the new rules would result in a warning followed by the next four being different increments of fines. Rosenthal added there was a possibility of even suspending players if they continue to show “willful disregard” of the rules.

Manfred doesn’t expect to see this action used, at least this season.

“I think that we’re going to work into the pace-of-game rules and you’re not going to see that type of disciplinary action at the outset,” said Manfred.

The Commissioner also said he contacted the union after hearing Ortiz’s comments earlier in the week.

“I’ve had a conversation with his bargaining representative about it,” Manfred said. “I’m sure they’ll reach out to him. I expect at the end of the day we’ll get cooperation there as well.”

For more Red Sox news, check out weei.com/redsox.

Read More: 2015 spring training, David Ortiz, Rob Manfred,
How would David Ortiz speed up game? No more instant replay, fewer pitching changes 02.26.15 at 11:43 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Much has been made of David Ortiz criticizing baseball for implementing a new rule preventing hitters from stepping out of the batter’s box in an attempt to shorten games.

But if not the MLB-mandated batter’s box regulation, then how would Ortiz shave time off these games? Appearing on the Hot Stove Show: Spring Training Edition Thursday night, the Red Sox designated hitter offered one of his solutions.

“First thing I would do would be cancel the replay thing,” Ortiz said. “That takes a lot of time. When you have to review a play that just happened, man, sometimes that takes forever. If you call safe or out, they should just leave it right there like it used to be.

“It’€™s taking forever, and we’€™re talking about shortening up the time. It’€™s taking forever. They have to go review and make sure the guy from New York say whatever he has to say. Sometimes you’€™ll be like, ‘€˜Man, this is taking forever.’ €™”

According to an MLB report in the middle of the 2014 season, the average time for a replay was 1:50. One adjustment made to the process for ’15 is the ability for managers to inform umpires they want to challenge a play without leaving the dugout.

Another solution offered by Ortiz to speed things up would be to limit pitching changes made by managers. According to FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, such an idea was floated by Cubs president Theo Epstein at the most recent GM Meetings.

Epstein’s idea was to make it mandatory that all relievers be forced to face at least two (and possibly as many as three) batters per appearance.

“How about every manager wants to match up every hitter after the fifth inning,” Ortiz said. “That takes forever, too. There’s games you see five or six guys pitching. That takes forever. So, if you’re talking about timing, it’s critical. The time you plan on saving, it’s not going to be saved.”

Also on the show, Ortiz reiterated his stance regarding the batter’s box rule.

To listen to the entire interview, click here.

Read More: 2015 spring training, David Ortiz,
Dustin Pedroia can see where David Ortiz is coming from: ‘Baseball’s not a drive-through’ at 5:05 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Dustin Pedroia could only laugh.

When the Red Sox second baseman heard David Ortiz go off on Wednesday about new MLB pace-of-game rules.

“I think it was the first time he heard of it,” Pedroia said Thursday. “The first reaction is always pretty good [from Ortiz]. I just laughed. You never know. That’s his job, though. His job is to hit and, in my mind, I have to go play defense and concentrate on a lot of things. But, when you’re putting a new rule and his main focus is to be in the box, that’s his home. You know what I mean? I can side with him on why he’s upset, but he’ll be fine.

“I’m pretty sure the umpires aren’t going to start yelling at you. They understand. Everybody that’s on that field loves baseball. They don’t want to make it a hurry-up. Baseball’s not a drive-through. We’ve got to play the game and they know that. Obviously, if you get fined, you get fined but we’re trying to play to win and that’s the way I look at it.”

Pedroia was asked if he thought speeding up the game would be good for the game.

“Is it good for the game? We’ll find out. I don’t think we’ve played under the rules yet,” Pedroia said, adding, “I don’t really try to think about it. I don’t know if I get out. I adjust my batting gloves and tighten them. My only thing as a hitter, and obviously the pitchers do it too, we’re trying to think about how and what we’re going to do the next pitch. Obviously, some guys take a little bit longer and some guys don’t. I think that’s the fun part about the game. In our mind, that’s the competition. Him [the pitcher] trying to find a way to get me out and me trying to find a way to get a hit off him. However long that takes, that’s how long it takes. We have a job to do and we’re trying to execute and we know the pitcher has a job to do. I don’t think I take that long.

“I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as everybody’s saying. I’m sure the pitcher and the hitter are going to be ready to play. That’s the way I look at it. I’m sure there’s not going to be a pitch thrown and I’m going to be hanging out in the other on-deck circle. We’re still going to play baseball. That’s the way I look at it.”

Even Red Sox pitchers like Joe Kelly could see where Ortiz was coming from.

“We play a ton of games,” Kelly said. “I understand exactly where he’s coming from. As a hitter, being a professional hitter, it’s probably one of the toughest things to do in all of sports. He’s not taking his time just to take his time. He’s out there and he’s one of the best left-handed hitters in this game. He’s thinking about what the pitcher is trying to do to him, and vice versa. I’m out there on the mound trying to read swings. If I throw a fastball inside and the hitter feels a little bit uncomfortable with his [swinging] motion, I might take a step off the mound and take a breath, ‘All right, is he trying to fool me or is he really going to get beat there today?’ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2015 spring training, Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia
John Farrell doesn’t think David Ortiz has target on his back: ‘He’ll adhere to the rules’ at 2:27 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — While infield coach Brian Butterfield was going over bunt fielding drills with his pitchers and infielders Thursday morning outside JetBlue Park, John Farrell spent a good 20 minutes with David Ortiz.

The manager stood and listened to Ortiz reiterate what he told reporters on Wednesday about his concerns and complaints about the new rules designed to speed up play, designed specifically to keep batters like Ortiz in the batters box and keep them from slowing the game down. Ortiz was articulate and animated as always in relaying his feelings to the skipper.

And Farrell came away thinking everything will be just fine when the season gets underway.

“I think he’ll adhere to the rules,” Farrell said. “And I think anytime we’re going through some subtle changes or some adjustments to the pace of game or instant replay, there’s going to be some growing pains. We fully anticipate that. I think it’s important that we all give this a chance to come to fruition a little bit and see how it may or may not affect the flow of a game or an individual routine at the plate. And I think that’s what’s important here, is that there’s a personal routine at the plate or on the mound that is part of the natural flow of the game. Some might consider that flow slow but I think that’s important that it’s preserved because that’s what puts a player, hitter or pitcher, in the right frame of mind to execute what he’s trying to get done.”

There was a report Wednesday night, after Ortiz’s very public comments, that MLB will not only consider aggressively administering $500 fines but will consider suspensions for repeat offenders of the pace rules. Does Farrell think Ortiz placed a target on his back with his outburst?

“No, not at all,” Farrell said. “I think the one thing that David has done is he’s an All-Star player and he’s a guy that is about playing the game the right way. I don’t think he’s putting a target on his back. He spoke his mind and that’s where we don’t make this too much of an issue because I think it’ll end up being a subtlety inside of the game. But this is no different than when they had fines and potential suspensions for relievers coming out of the bullpen that took too long. We dealt with our guys that were a little bit slower than normal in a way that you have to remind them of some things as the game unfolds.”

Read More: 2015 spring training, Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz, John Farrell
David Ortiz thinks like Tom Brady: ‘We are like wine, remember that’ 02.25.15 at 4:43 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Tom Brady and David Ortiz will be forever linked in Boston sports lore. They have led their respective teams to unlikely championships when many thought they were either incapable or washed up.

Before last season, Tom Brady famously told WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan, “When I suck, I’ll retire.” Of course, after a 2-2 start that started his critics wondering if that time had come, Brady rebounded nicely to win his fourth Super Bowl title and his third Super Bowl MVP.

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was paying attention to Brady this season and made reference to the Patriots quarterback Wednesday when asked how much longer he thinks his 39-year-old body will let him play.

‘€œPeople asked the same question of Tom Brady,” he said. ‘€œNow what? I bet you want him to be your quarterback once again. All the trash people were talking about him, this and that bro, I was listening to that in the Dominican. We barely watch football over there. But I watched the Super Bowl. I was like, ‘€˜Man, they’€™re not going to learn in Boston.’€™

“We are like wine. Remember that.”

Ortiz and Brady have always been linked, and that was never more evident than on Oct. 13, 2013. That’s when Brady fired a game-winning pass to Kenbrell Thompkins with six seconds left to beat the Saints and then three hours later, David Ortiz hit a game-tying grand slam against the Tigers to wipe out a 5-1 hole in the bottom of the eighth in Game 2 of the ALCS.

Ortiz is nearly two years older than Brady, who turns 38 in August. He hit 35 home runs last season, his most in any season since hitting 35 in 2007, and is just 34 shy of 500 in his career.

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Read More: 2015 spring training, Big Papi, Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz
David Ortiz destroys new MLB pace of game rules, thinks pitchers get off easy at 2:12 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — When Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Players Association, announced last week new rules and guidelines for speeding up the pace of games starting this season, one Red Sox batter immediately took offense.

And on Wednesday, the whole world found out just how ticked off David Ortiz is with rules designed to make sure batters keep one foot in the batter’s box while the pitcher has the baseball between pitches.

Ortiz was asked about the new rules Wednesday and it didn’t take much to get him started.

“Is that new? [Shoot], it seems like every rule goes in the pitcher’s favor. After the pitch, you have to stay in the box, basically? One foot?”

Told baseball executives were just trying to speed up the game, Ortiz wasn’t buying.

“I call that [bull crap],” Ortiz said. “Bro, when you come out of the box, you’re thinking about what the [pitcher] is trying to do. This is not like you go to the plate with an empty mind. When you see guys pitch and guys are coming out the box, we’re not doing it just for doing it. Our minds are speeding up. I see one pitch, I’m thinking what is this guy going to try to do to me next. I’m not walking around just because there are cameras all over the place and I want my buddies to see me and this and that. It doesn’t go that way.

“When you force a hitter to do that, 70 percent you out because you don’t have any time to think. And the only time you have to think about things is that time. So, I don’t know how this baseball game is going to end up.

“It don’t matter what they do, the game is not going to speed up. That’s the bottom line. When you argue for the pitch and then they have to go review it, that takes some time. Is that our fault? No. It’s their fault. But we still have to play the game.”

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Read More: 2015 spring training, Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz, pace of game
Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘You don’t have to have an ace to win’ at 10:24 am ET
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Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about the American League East, pitching, the Red Sox and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

As it usually is in February, but more this year than others for Schilling, it’€™s tough to judge how good the American League East will be. There are question marks around many of the teams in the division, and different aspects of different clubs put them in position to fight for the first spot in the division or end up at the bottom.

“I don’t know that it’s terrible,” the ESPN analyst said. “The team that, to me, that could win by 15 games and I wouldn’t be shocked is Toronto.

“If you look around the division,” Schilling continued,”in Baltimore, they have by far one of the division’s best game managers and a roster that’s talented, but there are more talented rosters. I think if you look at Boston, you have a guy who’s a great communicator, probably not even, I don’t think anybody is the game manager that Buck Showalter is, and a very talented roster, but again, it’s February and there has never been a year for me more so than this year where they’re saying, ‘Hey, I want to see where they are at the end of camp.'”

Though the Red Sox have added some offense to the lineup, Schilling isn’t as enamored with the additions as some have been.

“I think it makes their lineup deeper,” he said. “As long as they’re healthy and David [Ortiz] is David and Pedey [Dustin Pedroia] is back. I don’t know, and maybe it’s personal, I never get overly emotional about offensive signings just because you can score as many runs as you want, but if you can’t stop them from scoring it doesn’t matter.”

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Read More: 2015 spring training, Buck Showalter, Curt Schilling, David Ortiz
Ben Cherington hasn’t had any contract talks with David Ortiz 02.24.15 at 3:42 pm ET
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David Ortiz keeps adding to his resume as one of the greatest Red Sox hitters ever. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

David Ortiz keeps adding to his resume as one of the greatest Red Sox hitters ever. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — For the last several seasons, one rite of spring after the arrival of David Ortiz in camp has been speculation about just how much longer the slugger can and will serve as the Red Sox designated hitter.

And what will that cost?

On Tuesday, hours after Ortiz arrived in the Red Sox clubhouse, general manager Ben Cherington was asked both questions, despite the fact that he is signed for this season ($16 million) and has $10 million team options for ’16 and ’17.

“I think David knows he’s going to be a Red Sox for as long as he wants to be a Red Sox,” Cherington said. “There’s been no discussion on it recently, honestly. We’re just happy he’s here. He’s a huge part of what we’re doing on the field, still. Given his stature and his personality, I know he means a lot to people off the field, too. He’s part of the Red Sox legacy. He’s part of Boston pro sports legacy. But he’s also our DH and he hits in the middle of our lineup and that’s what we’re focused on. We’re happy to keep him there as long as he can keep doing it but there hasn’t been any conversation other than that.”

Last March, Ortiz signed a one-year, $16 million extension that will expire at the end of this season. That was an extension of a two-year, $29 million deal he signed in Nov. 2012. In that 2012 season, Ortiz, like he is now, played out a one-year deal for $14.575 million that was signed in mid-February before he reported for camp.

Has it been worth it? The numbers don’t lie. Ortiz’s power numbers continue to lead the Red Sox, including team highs of 35 homers and 104 RBIs in 2014. His average did drop to .263 but that is offset by the fact he has 88 homers and a slugging percentage of .550 in the last three seasons, just a tick above his .547 career average.

Despite options for each of the next two seasons, Cherington was asked if he had any idea how long the 39-year-old slugger wants to play.

“I can’t answer that question,” Cherington said. “That’s a decision he’s going to make. He certainly looks like a guy that can keep hitting. I think he wants to win. I think he probably has some personal goals, too. Motivated by both of those things. I don’t know. It hasn’t been a topic this winter or spring. I’m sure at some point it’ll be a topic for him. But right now, he’s here and he’s getting ready for the season.”

Read More: 2015 spring training, ben cherington, Big Papi, Boston Red Sox
Morning Fort: David Ortiz arrives in town, Hanley Ramirez looks up to him as a brother with ‘heart’ at 10:12 am ET
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Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz, now teammates talk at the 2010 Homerun Derby. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Hanley Ramirez and David Ortiz, now teammates, talk at the 2010 All-Star Home Run Derby. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Aside from John Farrell, maybe the person happiest to see David Ortiz stroll into the clubhouse at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning was Hanley Ramirez.

Ramirez was just 21 when he made his Major League debut on Sept. 20, 2005 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, entering the game as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the seventh, striking out in his first at-bat in the top of the eighth against Tim Corcoran.

He appeared in only one other game that season and struck out again. Those were his only previous games played as a teammate of Big Papi.

“I don’t know that guy,” Ramirez joked when asked Tuesday about being reunited with Ortiz.

But the truth is that Ramirez and Ortiz have kept a close relationship over the years and the two workout together in the offseason in the Dominican.

“He’s a like a brother to me. Everybody pretty much looks up to him because of the heart he’s got and the way he plays the game and how much love he has for the game. Everybody respects him.

“What can I say about Papi? Those who know Papi know he’s [respected] because of his heart. He does on the field and off the field so many good things. We love Papi. He’s the man.”

Ramirez, now 31, can learn a lot from Ortiz, eight years his elder.

“He’s got some tricks at the plate. When you get old, you have to find way to get hits. So, it’s nice when your ability starts going down a little bit, you have to start on working on little things. I was with him in the Dominican this past offseason and he was working every day. He doesn’t stop working. That’s the key for him.”

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Read More: 2015 spring training, Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz, hanley ramirez
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