BOSTON (CBS) – David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox are set to announce the designated hitters new two-year deal extension with the team.
But before the Red Sox and Ortiz officially announce the deal on Monday, Ortiz had to clear the air about something his former manager said about his 2012 season.
In an interview with ESPNDeportes, Ortiz fired back at Bobby Valentine who said last month the Sox DH sat out the final part of the 2012 season because the team was out of the playoff hunt, not because of the lingering effects of an Achilles injury he suffered in mid-July.
Big Papi was not a big fan of Valentine’s take on the situation.
“Stopping me (from playing) was the decision of the doctors, management, the manager and me,” Ortiz told ESPNDeportes.com. “The team doctor recommended that I stop playing to not make the situation worse for the tendon.”
Ortiz said he is only speaking up about it now because he was focused on finalizing a two-year contract with the Red Sox.
“In the 10 years that I have (been) in Boston, I have been the soul of the organization and there has never been a second where David Ortiz being able to go on the field and do what he does has decided to stay seated,” he said.
Ortiz said he always supported Valentine last season, even holding a few player meetings in support of their manager. He said following his brief activation from the disabled list he told Valentine he would be playing in pain, but wanted to do so for the team.
“The day that I returned from the DL, I told him that I was not sure what percentage health wise I was in, but that I could not be out there without trying to help,” said Ortiz. “When I told him that, I put my career on the side to help him and the team. Being in an incredible amount of pain, I went out there to support them.”
Valentine told Bob Costas in a TV interview last month that once the Red Sox traded Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 24, Ortiz realized Boston was giving up on the playoff race and decided to shut things down.
Ortiz said Valentine tried to get in touch with him following the interview to say the media was taking his quote incorrectly, but Ortiz decided to leave things be.
“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,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz and the Red Sox agreed on a two-year contract extension over the weekend.