Former Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told the Boston Globe that his recent comments suggesting that slugger David Ortiz "decided not to play anymore" due to the team's fall from contention did not represent a controversial claim.
"What I said was a statement of fact," Valentine told the Globe. "At that point, there was nothing for David to play for or to risk his career. I merely said what was true, that David stopped playing. Don’t know how that can be construed as throwing David under the bus. I never did that. If there was something at stake I knew he would push through, but after the trade, it was clearly a lost season, so why risk it?"
Earlier last week, Valentine said on NBC Sports' "Costas Tonight" that Ortiz "came back after spending about six weeks on the disabled list and we thought it was only going to be a week. He got two hits the first two times up, drove in a couple runs; we were off to the races. Then he realized that this trade meant that we’re not going to run this race and we’re not even going to finish the race properly and he decided not to play anymore. I think at that time it was all downhill from there."
Ortiz did not play after August 24, finishing the year having played 90 games with a .318 average, .415 OBP, .611 slugging mark and 1.026 OPS.
Valentine also clarified that he was kidding when he said that he left three envelopes in his office for his replacement, John Farrell.
"It was a joke," Valentine told the Globe. "It’s one of the oldest jokes in baseball. Dick Williams used to say it. I said it when I got fired in Texas, when I got fired in New York. It’s too bad that no one has enough experience to understand old-time baseball jokes. I obviously didn’t leave letters.”
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