Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz paid a visit with Dennis & Callahan Monday morning at spring training in Fort Myers, Fla.
Ortiz last week got upset after hearing a reporter suggest that Ortiz, at age 36, could see a dropoff similar to the one Red Sox legend Jim Rice had at the same age in 1989.
"I don't really care about what anybody says. You can say whatever you want. That won't get in my way," Ortiz said. "I look at myself as a guy that, when I was 15, I didn't really know what I wanted to be. So, nobody can come out right now and tell me who I'm going to be tomorrow or the next day or the next few days. The problem was how people want to put negativity on people's heads. I don't think it's fair. … These people are always talking trash. I've been here 10 years. They always have something to say."
Added Ortiz: "I'm not Jim Rice. I'm David Ortiz. We've got to be different."
Ortiz also talked about the team's reaction to the September collapse that cost the Red Sox a playoff berth last year.
"Right after the season, I'm not going to lie to you, I don't think there was one person in Red Sox Nation that was happy about the way we ended," he said. "Things were going so good, and it was like turning a switch off for us. Me, when I saw the way we were playing in August, at the beginning, and through June and July, I was like, well, there's no question that we're going to the playoffs. Having that drop the way it happens, it just sucks out all your energy and gets yourself thinking. And what people sometimes don't realize is that from a situation like that, you learn a lot of things. You can never take anything for granted in baseball. Because you can go from top to bottom in a heartbeat, and that's what happened to us last year. And I'm 100 percent sure there's a lot of my teammates thinking about the same thing.
"And like I always keep on telling people, I don't blame the situation that happened last year on the last game that we lost. I blame things on what we went through the whole year, those games that we had right there that got away from us, and situations like that. All of that counts toward the end of the season. Hopefully, everybody learns from it and takes advantage of it this year."
As for the alleged locker room misbehavior of last year, Ortiz said: "I think people learn from their mistakes. I'm pretty sure there's going to be better judgment this year about situations. This whole drinking and getting fried chicken thing has been blown up bigger than what it is. That's the way I see it."
Ortiz insisted he has never faced discipline from the team since coming over from the Twins in 2003.
"I'm a grown-ass man," he said. "I've got to make up my own mind. I've been here 10 years. I don't say that it's never going to happen, but there hasn't been the day a GM or owner has pulled me to the side just to correct me on something that I'm doing wrong, or violating the rules here."
Asked about the incident last season when he burst into a Terry Francona pregame press conference to complain about an official scorer's decision the night before that cost him an RBI, he said: "You guys blow that up."
Asked if he would do it again, he insisted: "If you try to take an RBI away from me, yes. Oh, yeah. … I wasn't looking forward to sticking my head in the press conference. I walk in, he was in the middle of the press conference. All I told him was, 'I need to talk to you after you're done.' But then you guys find out what it was I was trying to talk to him about and then, boom, blow it [out of proportion]."
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On being a team leader: "I've always been a guy that anybody could come to. I just try not to put pressure on myself, I just try to do the right thing and move on."
On the team's decision to ban alcohol in the clubhouse: "I've got no issues with that."
On his offseason contract negotiations that led to a one-year deal: "I was looking for something else. It didn't work out. I'm happy with what I got. We got into an agreement before we walked into that [arbitration] room. And I think it was very respectful from them, just come down and be like, 'Here's what we've got,' or whatever. And I just agreed to it. Like I told them, let's move on and try to win this year."
On predictions that the Red Sox will finish third: "Right now, I don't have a problem. In September, I would have a problem. I like it when people look at us like underdogs. I like it. It's less pressure."
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick joins Dale and Steve DeOssie to talk about cutting the roster down to 53 players. Jimmy Garoppolo is set to start and play most, if not all of the preseason contest against the Giants. Bill also expressed his thoughts about the kicking game and how some of the new rules have affected the importance of it.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the news that Jimmy Garoppolo will get the start Thursday and play most of the game. They talk about what it might mean for Ryan Mallett.
Julian Edelman joins Christian and Danny Picard to talk about his approach going into the season, his performance this preseason, as well as the VMAs, and preventing cramps using mustard.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Red Sox Manager John Farrell talks about Bogaerts' concussion and the youth movement.
As he does every Wednesday, Buster Olney, ESPN, joins the boys of MFB to talk baseball. This week Buster shed some light on what to expect from Rusney Castillo, and how Cuban players are being viewed. He suggests that the acquisition of Castillo helps Boston's chances to get Giancarlo Stanton. Also, the Sox should shut down Koji if they want to re-sign him.
Kevin Millar checks in to talk about the Castillo signing, Giancarlo Stanton, and the MLB's pace of play.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
John Frates called in to the show to discuss his son Peter and his past experience with Fred.
Buck, Fred and Jerry Thornton opened the show by discussing the start of Jimmy Garappolo's career in New England.
Cole joins Dennis and Callahan to explain Tom Brady's reaction to the Logan Mankins trade.
More reaction from the Logan Mankins-Tim Wright trade.
The guys dicuss Johnny Football, Terrible Summer Movies, and John Rocker being on Survivor
An incredible play by Andrelton Simmons inspired today's 4@4: MLB Web Gems
Red Sox Manager talks about Xander's concussion and the youth movement on the Red Sox.
Josh Gordons suspension was upheld. Why is there such a stigma about weed in sports?
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
We know your Fantasy Football drafts are happening right now, so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are here to help. We know you’d never blow off work to draft right? Turn up the speakers! Our fantasy guys chat up Pete’s most recent article on WEEI.com that offers background on several players you can target late in drafts across multiple league sizes; covering upside players to grab in 8-team leagues, 10-team leagues, 12-team leagues and 14-team leagues. Jim and Pete will be back at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning on your radio dial, 93.7 FM, with more ammo for all this weekend’s drafters. Good luck!
How can teams acquire players who are entering their primes without having to live through the potentially massive transition of prospects coming from the minors to the big leagues? The Red Sox have two such case studies. The signing of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo represents one effort to acquire a player for his prime years for whom the transition to big league-caliber competition might not be turbulent. Red Sox assistant director of player personnel discusses the scouting process involved with landing Castillo. The episode also features Brock Holt, the one rookie who played at a consistently high level for the Red Sox this year. Holt explores some of the distinctions that might help to explain why he did not experience some of the struggles that characterized the seasons of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.
Rob Bradford is joined by Turtleboy of TurtleboySports.com to discuss which current major leaguers might be in line to become Hall of Famers. The duo dive into the difficulties facing the current crop of big leaguers when trying to reach Hall of Fame status.
After Will Middlebrooks struck out against a position player, Steve Tolleson, last night against Toronto, he seemed to be laughing as he left the batter's box. Lou critiqued Middlebrooks on Twitter, which caused Will's fiance Jenny Dell to tweet (indirectly) in defense of her man.More from this show
Cole joins Dennis and Callahan to explain Tom Brady's reaction to the Logan Mankins trade.More from this show