This year, David Ortiz didn’t wait until June 5 to erupt.
Following the Red Sox’s 6-4 loss to the Yankees Tuesday night, Ortiz unloaded eight expletives to sum up his seven at-bats — all hitless — through two games. When a reporter suggested to the embattled DH that his start might conjure up memories of his spring disaster last season, Ortiz unloaded both barrels on his inquisitors.
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“You guys wait ’til [expletive] happens, then you can talk [expletive],” Ortiz ranted. “Two [expletive] games, and already you [expletives] are going crazy. What’s up with that, man? [Expletive]. [Expletive] 160 games left. That’s a [expletive]. One of you [expletives] got to go ahead and hit for me.”
Manager Terry Francona did not waver. Ortiz was back in the lineup last night, when he went 1-for-4 with an RBI single. Even with Mike Lowell ready and willing, Francona is giving Ortiz every opportunity to get his swing — and his confidence — in the right place.
“We want these guys to be fearless,” Francona told WEEI yesterday. “I can’t imagine five, six at-bats into a season having your five-hitter looking over his shoulder. ... I just think [playing Lowell] would be creating more of a firestorm.
“If this was later in the year, we probably would have played Mikey. It’s two games into the season.”