David Ortiz goes nuts, smashes dugout phone after bad strike call (Video)
Big Papi was ahead in the count 3-0 with his team leading 7-2 when home plate umpire Tim Timmons called a very high strike. Ortiz tossed his bat as though he had been walked, but was left looking pretty dumb when he received the bad news.
After another questionable called strike and a swinging third strike on a pitch down and in, Papi lost his mind. It took a few minutes for the frustration to kick in, but once he got back to the dugout he took his bat and destroyed the dugout phone before walking out onto the field and screaming expletives at Timmons. Manager John Farrell had to hold Ortiz back.
“The funny thing is, he wants to act like it was the right call,” Ortiz said, via ESPNBoston.com. “I don’t play that. I don’t pitch. I don’t play defense. I hit. You’re not going to take my at-bats away from me, period. … There’s a reason why you snap, you know what I’m saying? You always look like the bad guy. I’m not a bad guy. I’m trying to do my job. You don’t take my at-bat away from me like that.”
Ortiz is right. While it was a bad call, he did look like the bad guy because of the situation and the completely over-the-top reaction. Swearing is one thing, but swinging a bat near your teammates and smashing things like a mad man is dangerous. Still, he wanted Timmons to hold himself accountable.
“When I’m walking away, I’m telling him he was acting like he was right about the call,” he continued. “No, he wasn’t. He wasn’t right. Don’t be giving me that BS. If you miss it, tell me you missed it and I’ll walk away. I don’t have a problem with that. You’re not perfect. You’re human, you know what I’m saying. But don’t act like you made the right call. It was ball four.”
The Baltimore Orioles had to cover their destroyed phone in plastic after the game:
Phone destroyed by David Ortiz, wrapped in its plastic burial shroud. It was phone to pressbox, not pen pic.twitter.com/xALcxNa6ED
— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) July 28, 2013
Dustin Pedroia poked fun at himself for having to calm Ortiz down.
“He’s the biggest part of our lineup,” Pedroia said. “We can’t lose David for one game. I was trying to get him calm. I’m sure it was pretty funny, the smallest guy out there taking on the biggest guy.”
The outburst was selfish in many ways. As a 37-year-old veteran, Ortiz should know bad calls are a part of the game and that reacting like that can only result in a fine, suspension or — worse yet — an injury. Leave the epic meltdowns to the managers.