Red Sox DH David Ortiz suggested in the press conference announcing his two-year deal with the team that it was "time to turn the page" on former manager Bobby Valentine, who suggested after the season that Ortiz shut down for the year after the late-August blockbuster deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett to the Dodgers. The slugger acknowledged that the suggestion made him "uncomfortable," but that his new deal with the club served as the only rebuttal he needed to Valentine's portrayal.
"To be honest with you guys, we won’t be talking about what we’re talking about right now [the contract] if things would have been the way our ex-manager said. We have a great front office, a great new GM who is very involved with the things we do every day. Nobody takes a decision without our owners and our GM being part of it," Ortiz said. "Being here for the last 10 years, you guys know pretty much how I go about my business. The most important thing is that you guys are face to face with us every day and you guys already know how important it is to myself to be on the field and represent this organization the way I do, so I don’t really need to add any more things to it."
However, in a subsequent interview on WEEI's The Big Show, Ortiz discussed some of his quotes as they appeared in a recent story on ESPNDeportes.com. The article, by ESPN's Enrique Rojas, quotes Ortiz thusly:
"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 was asked whether those quotes -- a translation of an interview he conducted in Spanish -- were accurate.
"Some of it I said, like making the quote just being funny. But it's true," Ortiz said on The Big Show. "He really sent me a text message that following day. I never answered. But it's like, you know, it's something that it doesn't make any sense to me, somebody going on national television.
"He really, in the text that he sent me, he was like it was [the media] trying to twist things up. I'm like, 'Hold on, wait a minute -- I was watching the show. The media had nothing to do with this. It was you talking, and everybody listening. So why are you trying to tell me that the media was trying to twist this up?' Once I read that message, I was like, you know what? I'm not even going to make any comments on this. That's why you guys never heard me. I had a lot of guy approaching me, asking me. I never said anything."
Asked whether he was particularly taken aback by Valentine's comments given that he had been one of the former manager's most vocal supporters, Ortiz confirmed that he was.
"It was ridiculous. It was something unexpected," Ortiz said. "I wasn't expecting any of this. But you know what, though? I was talking to a lot of people afterwards, and that's him. He says things that you're not prepared for.
"I saw that during the season," Ortiz continued. "The reason why I decided to have his back big-time during the season, on top of the fact that I respect any manager we have, it was to stop the controversy between him and the players, because he would go and say something to [the media], and when [the media] would come to us, and ask us about what he said, we don't know. That was when David Ortiz came in and tried to stop those players who were mad at him from being mad at him, let him do his job, let's try not to do things that we have no control of it, but it was hard. It was hard. He would go back and forth with things that, we were out of it."
Ortiz was asked whether he was watching Valentine's interview with Bob Costas anticipating that the ex-Sox skipper would create controversy.
"Some of the guys called me and told me about it. I didn't even know that he was going to be on that show. But I sat down and watched it," Ortiz said. "I was like, you know what? I ended up changing the channel, to be honest with you."