David Ortiz stands behind Bobby Valentine
Seventeen players might have met with Red Sox management to voice their unhappiness with skipper Bobby Valentine, but David Ortiz isn’t one of them. According to a report from The Boston Globe, Ortiz sat down following batting practice to talk to the media about the recent drama surrounding his team’s exploits off the field.
A vocal supporter of his manager since the Sox started playing at spring training, Ortiz defended Valentine, saying he does not believe the manager should be fired and that he doesn’t blame him for the team’s lack of success.
“Who cares if a player’s against a manager? We’ve got to deal with the manager anyway,” he said. “A manager is not something you can go and change like you change your underwear. It can happen at some point, but the possibility of it happening, especially in the middle of the season, is a small percent, so that’s not our case.”
The July 26 meeting called by players to evidently attempt to have Valentine removed has caused a storm surrounding the team, but Ortiz was one of the players who declined to participate.
“I think Bobby’s doing great, man. He had to deal with so many things through the season, a lot of guys’ injuries. I guarantee if we don’t have that many guys go onto the DL this year, history would be different this year, and all the talks and negativity that have come out against him, I don’t think it would be there.
“Because what does it mean if you’re playing well? He can’t manage the team and at the same time go and play for us. All he can do is make moves and make decisions. But if you don’t have your squad out there providing what you expect — because of injuries or bad games or whatever — I don’t think people should be looking at it like it’s his fault we struggled the way we have this year.”
While Ortiz fully supports Valentine, he does have a bone to pick with whoever leaked the details of the meeting to the media because of the effect the publicity has had on his teammates, namely Dustin Pedroia.
Ortiz said the buzz has been a distraction for Pedroia, who always wants to play his best regardless of the manager or team, but has had it weighing on him that he was named as a ring leader of the meeting.
“How do you think he’s going to feel out there? . . . That kid, he wants to do nothing but play baseball no matter who his manager is, no matter who’s the umpire, who’s the fan — he don’t care. He wants to go out there and beat the crap out of whoever he’s playing against that day.”