A day after he said, “This is our [expletive] city,” during a pregame tribute to the Boston Marathon bombing victims and survivors, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz said he had received many positive comments about the remark.
“A lot,” Ortiz said Sunday. “It was something I said. I don’t know how emotional I get sometimes. What we’ve been through this week, that was my feeling. I was hurting like everyone else. That’s how I am.”
“That’s the most famous [expletive] of all time,” he joked.
Ortiz is not in trouble with the Federal Communications Commission because of the emotional situation he found himself in.
Ortiz, who Saturday made his 2013 debut after dealing with heel injuries, had five hits in his first two games after a 4-2 loss to the Royals in Game 1 of Sunday’s day-night doubleheader.
He was 2 for 4 Saturday with an RBI, and went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI in Game 1 Sunday.
Besides the double all of his other hits are singles, but when kidded about whether he’s become a singles hitter he said, “David Ichiro Ortiz.”
Ortiz, who did not play in Game 2, said he’s actually not yet happy with the way he feels at the plate and alluded to having some discomfort in the opposite heel from his Achilles’ injury, perhaps overcompensating.
“I’m battling right now,” he said. “Trying to do too much. Haven’t faced good pitching for months. I’m not gonna lie to you, I don’t feel good at the plate right now.”
So how has he managed five hits?
“I’ve been lucky,” Ortiz said. “I don’t feel yet the way I like to feel. Just getting to the point where mentally I’m just dealing with the injury I had last year and getting to the point where I’m 100 percent. Besides that, being able to sit on my legs and be where I like to be.”
How close to normal is he?
“It all depends,” he said. “In my case right now, probably I’ve been doing good contact with the ball but I’m not quite there yet. I’ve only played a few games — five in Triple A, where they were pitching me like they normally pitch me. I was just trying to hit the ball and run. I was swinging at bad pitches. I ran couple of times and it feels good. But I’m not quite there. I was out too long. I wasn’t seeing pitches. You see the way they pitch me the last two days.”
Ortiz said getting back all the way is a mental and physical exercise.
“My injury is fine right now but I’m having some issues with the other [right] side just from not being able to do what I can normally do from this side,” he said.
“Not bad, nothing crazy, I can deal with it. It’ll get better, that’s what the doctor said. I’m not gonna be concerned about it.”
Ortiz said it would have been hard to play both games.
“They don’t want me to have too much going on this early,” he said. “Just coming back. They want to make sure I play through the season. We don’t want to risk it.”
He said he was available to pinch hit.
Stephen Drew has started the season 3 for 30 after going 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in the first game. He sat the second game in favor of Pedro Ciriaco.
Drew had a tough spring training, during which he dealt with post-concussion syndrome, and hasn’t been able to get his timing back. He replaced the red-hot Jose Iglesias at the time.
Drew was signed to a one-year, $9.5 million deal and the team did not hesitate in committing to him upon his comeback from the seven-day disabled list.
In Game 1, the Royals scored the winning runs on Salvador Perez’s liner to center, which was just out of Drew’s reach.
Of Drew’s struggles at the plate, manager John Farrell said after the first game, “He squared up a ball in deep center in a previous at-bat, but I don’t see him missing pitches by a wide margin or lunging. Stay with him.”
Farrell pretty much said the same thing about Will Middlebrooks, who went 1 for 9 on the day and — with his 3-for-39 rut — is hitting .176.
“Keep him out there. He’s an aggressive hitter. Because he’s going through a little bit of tough spell right now, that doesn’t mean we’re not going to stay with him. That’s as potent of a bat as we’ve seen. We’ve got to keep grinding away.”
Victorino sits out
Farrell said right fielder Shane Victorino was “much improved over yesterday,” but he still missed both games of the doubleheader with back spasms. He said he should be OK for Monday’s game . . . The first-inning throwing error by Ciriaco at shortstop in Game 2 was the first by a Sox infielder this season . . . The Red Sox Foundation made a $646,500 contribution to the One Fund Boston. The One Fund, a nonprofit organization set up by Mayor Thomas Menino and Governor Deval Patrick to help people affected by the Marathon bombings, includes a $100,000 contribution from the Red Sox, $500,000 from Major League Baseball and the Players Association, and a $46,500 check from the Red Sox Foundation as a result of donations made at Fenway Park over the weekend . . . John Lackey
(biceps strain) will make his first rehab start Monday in Portland and will go four innings or 65 pitches. Farrell indicated that might be the only rehab he needs. Craig Breslow
(left shoulder tendinitis) will go one inning in Portland Tuesday, and Wednesday Franklin Morales
(low back strain) also will make a start. Joel Hanrahan
(hamstring) also will get on a mound in the next few days. By next week, the Sox should have a few decisions to make. They likely will send Steven Wright and Alex Wilson to Pawtucket. Allen Webster, who was called up to start Game 2 as a doubleheader roster exemption, was returned to Pawtucket after the nightcap.Nick Cafardo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nickcafardo.