Big Papi on himself, A-Rod and the game

It’s officially a full house in Fort Myers as Mike Lowell just walked into a mostly-empty complex to unpack his belongings. Lowell will likely speak to the assembled media in the next couple of days. Today was David Ortiz’s turn to have center stage.

Ortiz addressed the media for some 25 minutes today, addressing issue after issue:

He is driven to bounce back in 2009 and silence some perceived critics:

“I
sometimes, I listen to comments and it just does nothing but make me stronger.
I heard people saying, he’s getting old or whatever. Dude, I just turned 33. I
never seen a player be called old at 33. People are kind of used to seeing
David Ortiz producing like I have done as long as I’ve been here. I don’t blame
nobody. But people sometimes need to sit down and analyze the game. This is not
a game where you just play it and go home and that’s about it. We come here, we
get prepared to play. I try my best every time I go out there. Like I said, I
try to help this ballclub. These negative comments that people make about you,
just for one year that you’ve been off for injuries and things like that, that
makes no sense. So I just put that behind my back and it’s a new year.
Everybody is starting at zero. Let things happen.”

Ortiz is very happy about the way his wrist feels:

Yeah,
I finally don’t have my mind worrying anymore. I took my time off swinging like
the doctor said and I started right on when he told me and I went back to
Boston. I’m feeling fine right now. I’ve got no problem swinging.”

He seems a little concerned that the Red Sox didn’t pick up a bona-fide slugger to replace his pal Manny Ramirez in the lineup:

“Whenever
you can add a slugger to your lineup, it can do nothing but help. Everybody in
this division is getting stronger. You don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s
a lot of people out there in the offseason looking for jobs, guys who have done
it before. I guess sometimes our office needs to hear from somebody about what
we need at the time. I always talk to Tito and I always talk to Theo and they’re
always asking me questions. I tell them straight up. So, the problems we’re
facing right now, J.D. has back problems, still. If we would have another
slugger here, we would worry about it, but not that much. We don’t know what’s
going to happen with him during the season.”

Ortiz was proud of his close friend A-Rod for admitting wrong-doing on ESPN in regards to the failed steroid test in 2003:

“I
think the A-Rod situation, it was a little tough for the game because you’re
talking about the best player all the way around. At the same time, people have
to give the guy credit because he came out and said what he said at the point
of his career where he had done it all. On top of that, that was what, six
years ago? The guy has put up numbers his whole career. It was one thing that
he said that caught my attention a lot and it was that he was young and at the
time, that was [happening] all around the league. When you’re young and
somebody comes to you with an idea of improving your production and things like
that, sometimes you make a wrong decision like he did. But he’s been playing
clean and still producing, and he’s still been the best player in the game. If
I’m a fan and I had to judge a guy, I would put that in the past and move
forward. The guy, he works hard, man. He’s still doing his thing. He still has
nine more years on his contract and he’s definitely going to do some damage.”

 On the game distancing itself from the “steroid era”:

Like
I said, man, this game has been hurt, a lot already. This is not a players game
or a team’s game, this is a family game. everybody, we have a lot of families
that live off this game, we have a lot of families that enjoy this game, that
bring their kids to watch these games, and I don’t think that this game can
take anymore. Whatever happened in the past … Everybody right now, I guarantee
you that more than 80 or 90 percent of the players are playing clean. But what
you see out there right now is what you can get.  We’re going through a tough situation all the
way around, the economy, our soldiers fighting in Iraq and all this stuff, and
this game is a distraction for people, for the American families. I would like
to see some things. I would like people to leave this game alone and just let us
play the game. I would do whatever it takes to make this game get better, but
not everybody is on the same page. The game has changed a lot. There’s a lot of
pressure. This game, it’s been getting a lot of heat lately. Let’s just play
the game. The game is tough enough. People need to hear something different.

 

18 Comments

I just finished listing to a video of Ortiz’s conference. I am certainly encouraged by what he said about his wrist. (physically he looks a lot better!) I just hope that come September we won’t find ourselves obsessed with it. I like what he said about moving forward from the steroids issue and how many Americans look to baseball as a pleasant distraction during tough times. Let’s hope we all can move forward!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

I hope the Sox get more mileage from Brad Wilkerson than we did. For us the guy was a total waste of time.

So do I, GSJAYS. Wilkerson seems to be one of those guys who had a lot of potential, but never achieved it. I hope he can get some production here.
It was good to see Big Papi looking trimmer, and that his wrist is doing well. I hope the motivation he has to disprove the doubters translates into the kind of production we’d seen from him before his injury. I also hope he has the “protection” behind him in Bay and Youk to keep pitchers from pitching around him (or pay the price when they do!).
GO SOX!

GsJays…

I wouldn’t put mileage and Wilkerson in the same sentence when describing his Toronto days. Perhaps yards. LOL!! Then again that might be the words too describe him with the Red Sox. We shall see. I am not expecting much from Wilkerson in 2009. I wonder if he’ll even finish the year in Boston.

Ortiz and Lowell are big keys for the Red Sox in 2009. If they can duplicate what they have done in the past, Boston will be smelling like a rose!

It’s about time Ortiz has come too camp slimmer. Ortiz needs too take care of his body and I think the last year or so he was hitting the line at the buffet’s way too much! Ortiz’s window in Boston is closing. I give him 2 more solid productive years! I mean solid….30 -35 H.R. and 115 R.B.I.
Then again some Bill James wannabee will tell me otherwise. LOL!!

Great stuff from Papi. And best of all from my standpoint he may still be a Packer fan!

As far as the PED situation, I heard Gene Orza did “everything he could” to ovoid regular testing but I could not “qualify” my source. Sounded like he is the biggest villain in this whole mess. If anyone knows where to find out more about him please let me know!!!

REPEATED FROM PRIOR THREAD
Shame about Drew. Remember when he is right he is an All-Star MVP!

Hmmmm. What a choice for LF in 2010. Resign Bay or go after Holliday? Or can a change come in July?

Kramer…

I say no choice too make. Bay in a landslide!

Sounds like he took some shots at Jason Bay without actually taking them…
http://themax.mlblogs.com

Brian,
Also keep an eye on the Pawtucket OF and consider that a signed Bay would be a great trading chip! Will there be a trading clause if Bay resigns? Where is the Sox future catcher? I’ll be back later with a Bay/Holliday offensive comparison.

Great article on Jason Bay over on MLB.com.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Player - OBP - SLG - AVG - AB/R - AB/RBI - AB/SO
Bay - 0.375 - 0.516 - 0.282 - 5.84 - 5.67 - 3.79
Holliday - 0.386 - 0.552 - 0.319 - 5.54 - 5.50 - 5.26

“Sounds like he took some shots at Jason Bay without actually taking them…”

If that was meant for me, please be advised if I were taking a “shot” there would be no doubt!!!

Brian, I wouldn’t be surprised if Wilkerson were to finish the season elsewhere, esp. if Kotsay is healthy. I would not be surprised if he were traded for a prospect or two.

Kramer, Orza is the biggest villain, but Fehr is no yes-man. He is a key party in this whole mess, and is more than happy to put a front up for Orza.

Looks like those stats comparisons between Bay and Holliday more than confirm an extension for Bay would be a good move. I think Bay could have an MVP type year.

Just for fun…here’s the rest of the Sox outfield:
Player - OBP - SLG - AVG - AB/R - AB/RBI - AB/SO
Baldelli - 0.325 - 0.445 - 0.281 - 6.81 - 7.42 - 5.02
Drew - 0.392 - 0.502 - 0.284 - 5.20 - 6.27 - 4.62
Ellsbury - 0.346 - 0.413 - 0.293 - 5.68 - 10.31 - 7.05
Kotsay - 0.337 - 0.414 - 0.281 - 7.64 - 8.90 - 8.55
Wilkerson - 0.350 - 0.440 - 0.247 - 6.37 - 7.99 - 3.37

Greg,
If you want my entire ss, send me your E-mail, mine is below.

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