BOSTON (CBS) — Retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz tears into ex-manager Bobby Valentine in his new memoir, Papi: My Story. Naturally, Valentine happily responded to his criticisms in a way that only he coud.
In the new book, Ortiz goes into detail about the Red Sox’s disastrous 2012 season, when the team went 69-93 with Valentine at the helm. He rips the former manager for his unnecessarily unorthodox managerial and coaching styles, which apparently caused problems with the team within days of the start of spring training. He summed up Valentine as “aggravating as hell, arrogant and disrespectful.”
Valentine got a chance to respond to Ortiz when he joined the Tiki & Tierney show on CBS Sports Radio on Thursday. They asked him specifically about a drill in which he instructed Red Sox infielders not to say “I got it” when going for flyballs, even though they had learned to say it throughout their baseball lives. He chewed out then-Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles for instinctively saying “I got it” repeatedly on flyballs, which particularly angered Ortiz at the time.
Valentine gave his response to that story, among others about his managerial style, which you can watch below:
“There are rules in baseball that maybe I didn’t explain properly when I was there. Maybe that’s David’s confusion,” said Valentine. “In baseball – not in Bobby Valentine’s baseball, in all of baseball – the person who runs in for the ball calls for it. The person who runs out for the ball says nothing, so that you’re not saying something at the same time. So when the outfielder’s running in and the infielder’s running out, the outfielder calls the ball and the infielder does not say ‘I got it.'”
He continued, explaining his side of the Aviles incident.
“After doing it about the third time, I asked [Aviles] what his problem was, was it hearing or learning?” joked Valentine. “And afterwards it was like this major – and I said it with a loud voice, I might have even used an expletive or two to get my point across – but afterwards, three or four of the guys came in and said how Mike was in his locker and his head was down and he felt so bad and I had to apologize because I hurt his feelings and embarrassed him. I thought that was rather interesting. … I absolutely apologized, but I didn’t totally get it.”
Valentine’s response, while sounding reasonable on the surface, was ultimately like a perfect storm of Bobby V-ness that became all too familiar to Red Sox Nation in 2012: arrogant, narcissistic, unapologetic, obtuse. It’s safe to say that he won’t get many fans (if any at all) to move to his side in this debate.
Later, Valentine was asked what he took away from his short time in Boston. In what was practically a slap in the face to Red Sox fans everywhere, Valentine said, “Hardly anything.”
“It was six months of my life,” he continued. “It was 162 of 4,000 games that I was involved in. It wasn’t a lot of my life, and it was pretty good for about 105 games then it all went to hell.”
Surely, Ortiz and Red Sox fans will rest comfortably knowing that the 2012 season didn’t have any negative effects on Valentine’s life.