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David Ortiz "lives in an emotional maelstrom"

May 19, 2010, 1:12 PM EDT

ESPN’s Howard Bryant has a fascinating feature today on the “emotional maelsrom” that has been David Oritz’s last couple of years with the Boston Red Sox.

There’s some arguably poor behavior on Ortiz’s part mentioned in there — he allegedly left the ballpark early back in April after being pinch hit for, he “raged” that the team-owned NESN ran a “who should be the DH” poll during a telecast earlier this month and he has seemingly forgotten just how loyal the team was to him back when the PED stuff came out last year — but overall, I think, it paints a pretty nuanced portrait of a guy who (a) is used to excelling; but (b) is clearly not anymore.

There’s this tendency to portray Ortiz as either a happy-go-lucky gentle giant or a slumping grouch.  The answer is that, like most of us, he can be both of those things.

Worth a read, that’s for sure.

  1. MK - May 19, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Most of the article is the usual tale of the decline of a superstar athlete, which makes the section where the Red Sox ownership goes all in supporting Ortiz after he was outed as a PED user by far the most interesting.
    If you think about it, the Red Sox had no choice but to defend him to the hilt. With Manny already out the door and busted again for PED use, if they didn’t support Ortiz’s laughable stories and lies about his own use, then it would hang giant asterisks on their 2004 & 2007 titles, like it or not. No doubt every World Series winner for probably 15-20 years now has had PED users, but Ortiz and Ramirez – the two most significant contributors, their Gehrig & Ruth – were caught.
    In for a dime, in for a dollar…as the saying goes.

  2. SabathiaWouldBeGoodAtTheEighthToo - May 19, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    I wonder, with they way Ortiz, Lowell, Manny, Wakefield, etc have been treated by the Bosox brass, if future free agents will have some reservations about signing with the club. They stood up for Ortiz last season (though his hitting after the first 6 or 7 weeks of the season removed the glow of martyrdom from their actions).
    What about Lowell, the world series MVP who signed at a somewhat discounted rate, only to be completely marginalized? Lowell hit pretty well last year, at least as well as anyone expects Beltre to hit. But picking up Beltre left Lowell without any playing time.
    Has a backup catcher ever worn the C for any other team in the history of MLB? Now there are rumblings about Ianetta, Snyder etc. If they get another catcher, do they dump [Tek, Lowell, Ortiz, Vmart]?
    Wakefield, the guy with the team-friendliest contract ever, has gone to the ‘pen to make room for the likes of DiceK and Bucholz.
    They seem to be developing a trend for poor handling of their stars, and I wonder if a reputation will grow from their actions.

  3. Bobby - May 19, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    Let’s face it. The guy hasn’t been the same since he tested positive for steroids.
    When he was known as David Arias, he was an average player with the Twins. Seemingly overnight, he gained 40-plus pounds with the Red Sox and began to bash baseballs. Since he tested positive, his production has been in a downward spiral.

  4. Jason @ IIATMS - May 19, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    Things end so well in Boston, don’t they?

  5. michael standish - May 20, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    Yet according to Ringolsby, David Ortiz “lives in an emotional mailroom.”

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