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David Ortiz pins a lot of the Red Sox’s 2012 woes on Bobby Valentine

Bobby Valentine was a dead man walking the day the Boston Red Sox announced he would be their next manager last winter. Not only was he the wrong man for the job, but I highly doubt anyone would have been able to clean up Boston’s mess and lead a playoff charge. The Red Sox won only 69 games and finished in last in the AL East, and David Ortiz feels that Valentine was one of the main reasons why.

“A lot of players had a lot of issues with our manager last year,’’ Ortiz said according to ESPNBoston.com. “We have a new manager this year, a guy who is familiar with the organization, a guy we pretty much grew up around him. That’s John [Farrell].

“A team is like a human body. If the head is right, the body is going to function right, but if the head is messed up, then the body is going to be all over the place. It seems like that was part of our situation last year. Guys weren’t comfortable with the manager we had. Guys were struggling. Even in situations as a player you need to handle better, sometimes you get confused and get caught in a situation where you don’t know how you’re going to react with them.”

Ortiz was one of the few players who defended Valentine early on last year, but their relationship has since gone south thanks to Valentine’s claim that Ortiz had no interest in trying at the end of last season. Big Papi went on to say that he was concerned about Valentine’s approach during spring training last year, when the former manager had what Ortiz thought was an unorthodox style in leading drills and workouts.

Here’s what needs to happen in Boston: when players are asked about Bobby V., they need to tell reporters than he’s not there anymore and the team is moving forward. There should be no comparing Valentine and Farrell. Last year was one to forget in Boston. It’s time to turn the page.

Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

David Ortiz: Bobby Valentine ‘must have some mental issues or needs medicine’

A little over a week ago, Bobby Valentine made his first public appearance since being fired as manager of the Boston Red Sox. As expected, he had plenty to say. Bobby V.’s comments about David Ortiz quitting on the team were easily the most noteworthy thing he said during his interview with Bob Costas. Ortiz responded to that accusation on Monday.

For starters, Big Papi said the decision for him to shut it down for the season after returning from the disabled list was one made by team doctors and had nothing to do with the megadeal between the Red Sox and Dodgers. Then, he had the following to say to ESPNDeportes.com about his former manager.

No. 3, after he went on national TV to say what he said, he sent me a text message trying to tell me that it was the media trying to change things. I did not respond to the message and I said to myself, this guy must have some mental issues or needs medicine or something? I said, I am dealing with someone crazy and I am not going to drive myself crazy, so it is better if I leave it alone.”

It’s easy to understand where Ortiz is coming from. The media didn’t try to twist anything. Valentine made the comments and there was only one way to interpret them. In addition to that, Ortiz was one of the few players who reportedly defended Bobby V. toward the beginning of the season when people were calling for his head. If Valentine made me look bad on national television for seemingly no reason, I wouldn’t want to hear what he had to say either.

Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Bobby Valentine: David Ortiz quit on Red Sox after big trade with Dodgers

Former Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine appeared on “Costas Tonight” with Bob Costas on Monday night in his first interview since the team fired him following the season. Since Boston parted ways with Valentine, we have been waiting see who he will blame for the abysmal season Red Sox fans just endured.

To his credit, Bobby V. blamed himself above all others and told Costas, “It was my fault.” However, he did take some time to throw David Ortiz under the bus. Valentine said Ortiz gave up on the season after Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto were traded to the Dodgers.

“David Ortiz came back after spending about six weeks on the disabled list and we thought it was only going to be a week,” Valentine said. “He got two hits the first two times up, drove in a couple runs; we were off to the races. Then he realized that this trade meant that we’re not going to run this race and we’re not even going to finish the race properly and he decided not to play anymore. I think at that time it was all downhill from there.”

As Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk pointed out, the Red Sox were 60-66 when Ortiz returned from the disabled list. He certainly would have added pop to the lineup, but how many wins can a DH account for? The fact that he was hot in his first few plate appearances hardly means Boston was “off to the races.”

Ortiz did a great job of acting if he truly didn’t hurt himself while running out a double, but that’s beside the point. If Valentine is telling the truth and Ortiz gave up, that is obviously a bush league move and not something a leader would do. It does not, however, mean the end result would have been any different. Check out Bobby V.’s full interview below:

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David Ortiz thinks he can play first base for National League team

David Ortiz has primarily been a DH since signing with the Red Sox in 2003, but he recently said he thinks he could be a full-time first baseman.

“Man, the way I feel this year, I feel like I can go play first base in the National League,” Ortiz told the Boston Herald.

“When I play first base, I like to joke around so I can get the pressure away from me. But it’s fun to me,” Ortiz told the Herald. “I’m not as bad as people think I am. People see you DHing the whole time and they think you’re just going to go out there and screw things up. I’ll tell you straight-up: I’m not going to be all-fantasy, but you hit that ball where I can reach it, I’m going to catch it.”

Ortiz said he was approached by some NL teams last offseason but his priority was to remain with the Red Sox, so he agreed to a one-year deal with them in arbitration. His latest comments make it seem like he won’t be as kind to Boston this offseason.

Ortiz has been having trouble with the Boston media over the past few weeks, and he’s indicated he’s sick of things in the city. He also recently stated that he was humiliated with Boston’s one-year offer to him last offseason. If you put everything together, it all adds up to Ortiz wanting out of Boston, or driving up the price on them at the least. Given the way he’s been hitting this season, several NL teams are sure to be interested.

David Ortiz says his offseason contract situation with Boston was ‘humiliating’

Every team in the MLB has been waiting for David Ortiz to fall off the face of the planet for the last two or three seasons, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening. Just when it appeared he was washed up in 2010, Ortiz erased an abysmal start by putting up huge power numbers in the second half and finished with solid numbers despite a low batting average. Since then, he has been the Ortiz of old. Big Papi is hitting .302 this season and already has 22 homers and 55 RBIs. At age 36, he is somehow on pace for one of the best years of his career.

Despite his success over the past few seasons, Ortiz continues to have to play on a one-year contract. He and the Red Sox flirted with arbitration this past offseason before agreeing to a one-year, $14.575 million deal. That doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world, but from the sound of it the experience left a lasting foul taste in the mouth of Boston’s favorite slugger.

“It was humiliating,” he told Jorge L. Ortiz of the USA Today in Spanish. “There’s no reason a guy like me should go through that. All I was looking for was two years, at the same salary … and look at my numbers this year. Tell me if they wouldn’t have been better off. And yet they don’t hesitate to sign other guys, it was embarrassing.

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David Ortiz on Red Sox perceived issues: ‘I run this f***ing clubhouse right here’

It’s happening again. As we near the halfway point in the 2012 season, the Red Sox have picked up right where they left off last September. Injuries have certainly played a part, but at the moment Boston is a mediocre team at best as it hovers around a .500 record. In addition to a poor performance on the field, Buster Olney described the Red Sox clubhouse as a “toxic” environment over the weekend. Where have we heard that before? To David Ortiz, it’s all too familiar and he’s not going to stand for it this time around.

“First of all, this is the Red Sox right here,” Ortiz said according to ESPNBoston.com. “This ain’t no (expletive) organization that players just walk in for the first day and start doing whatever the (expletive) they want,” he said. “Players, when they walk into this clubhouse, they look around and they want to adjust themselves to what is going on here, and that’s how things are in this clubhouse.

“If (Olney) wants to make a comment like that, why don’t you ask me a question first. I run this (expletive) clubhouse right here. This clubhouse has no problem. The last problem this clubhouse had was last year when everything came down to what it was in (September), but since then everybody’s cool and everybody’s trying their best to win games.”

People love to criticize Bobby Valentine, and at times it’s deserved. But he wasn’t exactly dealt the best hand in the world. Valentine was expected to come in and put an immediate stop to the beer-drinking, fried-chicken-eating culture that plagued Boston last year. Not to mention, no one could have anticipated he would be without Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury and dealing with a banged up Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia. Under the horrendous circumstances, Valentine has hardly been Boston’s problem.

As far as the clubhouse being “toxic” is concerned, the media wants it to be that way. Whether the Red Sox have clubhouse issues or not, losing is going to create them in the eyes of writers, reporters and fans. The only way to stop it is to win some games.

Photo credit: Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE

David Ortiz reportedly called team meeting to defend Bobby Valentine

It could be a complete coincidence, but the Red Sox have played particularly well since David Ortiz called a players-only meeting for the team back on May 11. Since that day, Boston has gone 12-5 — their best stretch of baseball this season. The most obvious reason for Ortiz’s meeting was that his team was well under .500 and playing horribly. As we recently found out, another reason may have been that he was tired of the way his teammates were treating their new manager.

“I was feeling really bad about Bobby the way things were going and it was because I can see the frustration on his face,” Ortiz said according to ESPNBoston.com. “His hands were tied because he was trying to do things to help us out and it wasn’t working, but it wasn’t his fault. We weren’t executing, so at the end of the day the manager gets blamed, but it’s not his fault. He might make a move, but we need to execute.

“I saw his frustrations and I felt like s***. Part of the reason why is we need to get together and talk about things and chat about things as players, because players make great managers but you need to play well for that to happen.”

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