David Ortiz continues to flip bats, jog around the bases, dump all over the concept of good sportsmanship and live a never-ending dream in Boston devoid of all criticism and repercussions.
Michael Parente (@michaelparente)
It’s a shame we still don’t get it, no matter how many times the bat-flipping, phone-smashing, selfish, showboating jerk continues to wipe his ass with the integrity of Major League Baseball (whatever’s left of it).
Shortly after Tampa Rays’ pitcher Chris Archer called out David Ortiz for flipping his bat and hot-dogging it around the bases Sunday following a three-run home run in the first inning of Boston’s 3-2 victory, the card-carrying members of the Big Papi Fan Club – a.k.a. the soft-baked Boston media – came rushing to Ortiz’s defense.
Apparently, Archer is a hypocrite because he celebrated a strikeout of Daniel Nava sometime last year by jumping off the mound and kissing his bicep, never mind the fact it came with two outs and the bases loaded with the Rays clinging to a two-run lead, or the fact this is one small example in comparison to Ortiz’s routine bat flips and leisurely strolls around the bases. Context doesn't matter when playing the, “He started it!” game, which is as popular as Connect 4 when excusing Boston’s favorite son for his continuous flagrant acts against baseball’s unwritten rules.
This could all be solved by someone – anyone – drilling Ortiz between the 3 and the 4 on the back of his uniform, but Archer wouldn't even do so much as brush Papi off the plate, let alone pop him where the sun don’t shine. Ortiz has made a habit of admiring himself and showing up others in the process. Every so often, he shows up the officially scorekeeper at Fenway Park, too, by bitching about having a hit taken away from him in lieu of an error on the opposing side. Following a game against Minnesota in June, a game Boston won, Ortiz made it a point to stare at the scorekeeper sitting in the press box during the game and give him the “thumbs down” after he gave Joe Mauer an error on a grounder to first instead of awarding Ortiz with a hit.
General manager Ben Cherington’s reaction?
“He’s an emotional guy.”
Therein lies the problem. Everything Ortiz says and does, every gripe, every moan, every Fenway employee he publicly embarrasses, every dugout phone he smashes, every F-bomb during a public address announcement, every nauseating bat flip and every arrogant jog around the bases is swept under the rug because, well, 2004, that’s why. And if you don’t like it, you’re the problem, not the guy behind the shades and neatly-manicured chinstrap, the same guy whose failed steroid test 11 years was also conveniently swept under the rug.
The same Big Papi who gets more Get Out Of Jail Free cards than Rich “Uncle” Pennybags even had the audacity to complain about someone calling him out for constantly getting a free pass, and that bogus complaint was forgotten about in days, thereby proving the theory.
The bully will keep stealing your lunch money and keep wearing your Bugle Boy jean jacket until you learn to fight back like Rocky Balboa’s kid in Rocky V and knock the bully into next Tuesday. If opposing pitchers had the stones to crank Ortiz with a little chin music every once in a while, maybe he’d think twice before wiping his muddy feet on everyone’s rug. Or maybe he’s way past caring and won’t change at his age (38), which, if we’re talking percentages, is much more likely than the former at this stage of the game.
Archer, among others, needs to do his part by walking the walk instead of talking the talk. You don’t like Ortiz’s showboating? Pop him. Conversely, we could do our part by calling a spade and spade and criticize the Teflon Don when he’s out of line, which seems like at least once a month these days. There’s something about Ortiz in this town that makes him infallible and incapable of being criticized by this Boston media that has the overrated, overblown perception of being so tough on its own players. Ortiz wouldn't know because he’s never criticized, unless he’s asking for money, which, ironically, is the least offensive of his grievances.
The silly, inane response to Ortiz’s arrogance Sunday, the “neener-neener” sandbox justice, is what happens when fanboys get a keyboard and a blinking cursor. Ortiz was wrong and should be criticized for his actions. It’s a shame we still don’t get it after all these years.
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