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Ortiz unloads about ESPN report

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  June 21, 2012 04:45 PM

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The Red Sox have won four straight and six of seven games. But David Ortiz was steaming mad this afternoon, unleashing an expletive-filled discourse about an ESPN report that labeled the Sox a team in turmoil.

The five-minute long interview started amicably enough then took a turn when a television reporter prodded Ortiz about having to prove himself and his contract status. Then Ortiz grew angry.

"Not really," Ortiz said when asked if he was having fun playing for the Red Sox. ďToo much [expletive], man. Too much [expletive]. This ainít all about me. Iím not the only player here. We have 25 guys who care just as much as I care about playing ball here and providing winning ball games

"It seems every day there is something new about players. People need to leave us alone and let us play ball. Itís becoming the [expletive]-hole it used to be. Look around, bro. Playing here used to be so much fun. Now every day itís something new not related with baseball. People need to leave us alone, man. Play ball and do what we know how to do."

Ortiz defended the atmosphere around the Red Sox earlier this week, saying that an ESPN report about a "toxic" atmosphere around the team wasn't true.

On Thursday, he called the report "horrible" and said he was tired of the team being labeled in that way.

"Iím just tired to deal with the drama here. This is baseball, man. It seems like everything that goes around here is like one of those Congress decisions that will affect the whole nation. It ainít like that, man. This is baseball. Weíre supposed to have fun, performing out there at the highest level," he said.

"But every day is something new. Some drama, some more [expletive]. Tired of that man. Iím here to play baseball, man."

Does Ortiz want to return next season?

"I donít know. Iíll think about it," he said.

Manager Bobby Valentine agreed with Ortiz that Boston can be a difficult place to play. But good players, he said, find a way to handle it.

ďItís tough,Ē Valentine said. ďIt is what it is. David handles it as well as anyone Iíve ever seen. Might have caught him on a bad day today.Ē

Valentine suggested that Ortiz was probably speaking on behalf of teammates.

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