The sun comes up, the sun goes down, and David Ortiz finds himself in another flap with the Tampa Bay Rays. This time over a bat flip.
In case you missed it, Big Papi crushed a three-run homer off the Rays’ Chris Archer in the third inning of yesterday’s 3-2 Red Sox win. After the big swing, Big Papi flipped his bat across the plate then casually started his way around the basepaths.
It wasn’t the longest post-homer stare we’ve seen by the Red Sox designated hitter and the bat flip seemed fairly innocuous by Ortiz standards, but that didn’t stop the 25-year-old Archer from mouthing off after the game.
“I think it was a perfect example of what [David] Price said,” Archer told reporters after the game. “All of my interactions with him off the field have been good, but when it comes to him on the field, I don’t know what makes him think that he can showboat the way he does, and then nobody can retaliate, nobody look at him in a funny way, or nobody pitch him inside.
“I don’t know why he feels like that. But obviously, he feels the way David [Price] said he does. He feels like he’s bigger than the game. He feels like this show is all about him, which in reality, if I don’t walk Daniel Nava or if I don’t give up an infield single to [Dustin] Pedroia, his one home run means nothing. I hope that he realizes that there’s more that goes into it than just him and, I don’t know, I feel like you can’t say that your true character is defined by one action, but multiple actions speak to who you are.”
In his comments, Archer dusted off the feud between Ortiz and David Price, which started when Ortiz took a slow trot around the bases in last year’s Game 2 of the ALDS, followed by Price drilling Ortiz when the two teams squared off for the first time this season. After Price hit Ortiz, he made the comment about Big Papi thinking he is “bigger than the game.”
Ortiz naturally responded to the new charge, suggesting that Archer hasn’t been around the game long enough to issue such a complaint.
“Tie game, something like that, you put your team ahead, you enjoy,” Ortiz said. “What can I tell you, man? Players in today’s game are too sensitive about things. I’ll just leave it like that. I think he’s a good pitcher. I think he’s got great stuff. He’s a guy that I think is going to be pretty good. But it takes some time to get to that level… There’s always going to comments out there. He’s not the right guy to be saying that. He’s got two days in the league, you can’t be just bitching and complaining about [stuff] like that.”
And despite Archer’s youth, he’s already done a bit of stylin’ himself… and it was against the Red Sox. On June 12, 2013, Archer demonstrated some flair for the dramatic by celebrating on the field and kissing his right bicep after striking out Daniel Nava, who homered off him earlier in the game.
So it is OK to style a bit and show some emotion on the field in baseball? Weigh in here:
Get ready for more words between these two rivals when they meet again on Aug. 29 at the Trop in a four-game series.