David Ortiz, who had a lot to say yesterday, talked it over with Terry Francona this afternoon.
Ortiz spoke to Globe colleague Amalie Benjamin and did an interview on WEEI and expressed disappointment in how he was treated during his April slump, both by the media and by Francona. He was specifically disappointed that Francona pinch hit for him in Toronto on April 27.
Francona admitted he knew about the comments then said he would speak in general terms.
“I stand by what I’ve always said. My job is to believe in our players, not one but 25,” Francona said. “Try and do that as consistently as I can and I don’t think that will ever change. It’s just like we ask the players, try and do your job the best you can. Doesn’t mean you’re perfect, but try to the best you can and do what you think is right and communicate it and move on. I don’t think that will ever change.”
Francona on his relationship with Ortiz:
“I think any time you’re in my position, you have to tell people things sometimes they don’t want to hear. That’s just the way the game is. Not that things don’t happen but how you work them is more important. I feel OK about that part of it.”
Francona also vehemently denied a report on ESPN.com that Ortiz left the Rogers Centre on April 27 before the game was over.
“Somebody’s reporting something that’s not true,” he said. “I shouldn’t have to deal with that. But I did because [Ortiz] is hurt. … That was wrong. Whether it was lie or somebody made a mistake, that doesn’t help me.”
On how Ortiz has handled the situation:
“It’s actually been pretty good. We’ve sat and talked and he hasn’t always liked what I’ve told him. But I think he knows that I care about him. Every player is supposed to feel that way, I don’t care who it is. [Jonathan] Van Every, it doesn’t matter. That’s the idea. You don’t take for granted the time together. You keep working at it. That’s the only way it works. Sometimes you’re presented with challenges. That’s the way this game is.”