Valentine says Ortiz decided not to play

David Ortiz strained his right Achilles tendon on July 16 and played only one other game, on Aug. 24, before the season ended.

In an interview with Bob Costas of NBC Sports that aired Tuesday night, former manager Bobby Valentine suggested Ortiz could have played.

“David Ortiz came back after spending about six weeks on the disabled list and we thought it was only going to be a week,” Valentine said.

“He got two hits the first two times up, drove in a couple runs; we were off to the races. Then he realized that [the team’s trade with the Dodgers on Aug. 25] 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.”

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Ortiz re-injured his foot in that Aug. 24 game. He also had an injection designed to speed his healing in September. By then, with the Red Sox hopelessly out of contention, he did not pursue the idea of playing again.

Ortiz was one of the few veteran players who supported Valentine last season.

The rest of the interview was fairly benign. Valentine said the silly “Nice inning, kid” incident with Will Middlebrooks never actually happened. Middlebrooks confirmed that on Twitter during the show.

What’s odd about that is Valentine was the one who created that controversy by telling WEEI it happened.

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