BOSTON – David Ortiz hit his first major league home run on Sept. 14, 1997, while with the Twins in an 11-1 win at Texas. He’s hit 455 more since then, his more recent a three-run shot at Tampa Bay yesterday that provided all the runs in the Red Sox 3-1 win over the Rays.
He didn’t invent the art of styling around the basepaths after a home run, but he’s customized it in his own personal way. And don’t expect him to change, even if the Rays don’t like it.
“Nobody [is] going to get me walking away from what I do,” Ortiz said Monday afternoon before the start of a three-game series against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park. “Been doing this for years. If you don’t like it, just stay away. But you’re not going to stop me from doing what I do. I try not to stop anyone from doing what they do.
“Every time I do something it’s like it’s the worst. I don’t see it that way but it’s part of the game. It’s what it is, and you either hang with it or whatever.”
Ortiz was responding to the criticism he took after his bat flip and trot around the bases yesterday, his only hit in the game.
“I don’t understand,” he said. “But I guess that’s how it is when it comes down to me. It’s a game, man, and like I said yesterday, there’s more sensitivity in these days than what it used to be. And not much you can do about it. You’re not going to make everyone happy, basically. This is like whenever I do something, it just bugs the [stuffing] out of people. That’s me, man. I’m not going to change it.”