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Apparently it’s a problem that David Ortiz is appealing his fine for smashing that phone

Aug 8, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

David Ortiz was fined $5,000 for smashing that bullpen phone last week. He has appealed his fine. This does not sit well with Dan Shaughnessy:


Between this and the A-Rod stuff it appears to be that there is nothing sportswriters hate more in this world than a person exercising their contractually-granted appeal rights.

Now, let’s see what happens the next time a sportswriter finds themselves in legal trouble. Call me crazy, but I doubt they’ll get all huffy about how bad it is to exercise appeals in that case.

  1. Jason Collette - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Ortiz could just use this defense in his hearing (audio nsfw)

    • jfk69 - Aug 8, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      That no I Phone. Cheap plasticky and old. I no pay. Ripoff

  2. baseballici0us - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    troll: |trōl|

    • Computing, informal a provocative e-mail or posting on the Internet intended to incite an angry response.
    • Informal a person who sends such an e-mail or submits such a posting.
    • Also see “Dan Shaughnessy” for full description and image.

    • dan1111 - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      I’m certainly no Shaughnessy fan–indeed I usually can’t stand his brand of sportswriting–but I don’t see what is wrong with that tweet.

      Smashing a phone was dumb. Appealing the fine (and refusing to apologize or even accept blame) is beyond dumb. I have zero problem with Shaughnessy pointing that out.

      And what do contractual rights have to do it? Ortiz may have the right to an appeal, but that doesn’t mean it is always a good idea to exercise that right, or that such a choice is beyond criticism.

      By his own logic, Craig has no right to criticize Shaughnessy. But “it appears to be that there is nothing [bloggers] hate more in this world than a person exercising their [constitutionally]-granted [free speech] rights.”

      • CyclePower - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:45 AM

        Boom!! Well said.

      • Bob Loblaw - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:50 AM

        Either way, the fact is that $5,000 to someone making $14,000,000 is like someone making $100,000 being fined $35. It’s not about the money. It’s about the principle. If Ortiz wants to fight it, then, as Craig writes, that’s his, err, right. But in my opinion, it’s still stupid to appeal this one. $35? Not worth the time or energy.

      • baseballici0us - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        I’m just curious; why bash Craig on your reply to my comment? I didn’t say anything about him at all.

        That said, I kinda agree with what you said before that.

      • yunkerimages - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        Not a good analogy Bob. 5K can buy a lot of things that $35 can’t.

      • raysfan1 - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        One can debate whether Ortiz should just accept his punishment (I think he should), but him filing an appeal requires almost no time or effort on his part. Regardless, it’s pretty routine, so I’ll save my rage for later.

      • Old Gator - Aug 8, 2013 at 12:27 PM

        Is there actually such a thing as a Shaughnessy fan? Is that like a chupacabra?

  3. 13yrsmlbvet - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Aren’t all fines 5 grand and up automatically appealed?

    • natslady - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      Well, if it’s an automatic appeal, then why the headline? Even if it is, you would think Ortiz could override that.

    • dan1111 - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:41 AM

      No. Ortiz made statements indicating he thought the fine was excessive, and he implied that it was not his fault because he didn’t start the “sequence of events” that led up to it.

      • natslady - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:01 AM

        Thanks for clarifying. Even more evidence that Ortiz doesn’t live in the REAL WORLD. Gee, I’m really sorry things didn’t go his way. Gee, I’m really sorry he didn’t start the “sequence of events” that led to his temper tantrum. Grow up.

  4. coloradogolfcoupons - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    It was probably ‘roid rage that made him smash the phone, so he thinks he should not be liable, technically, for smashing it. And with the price of undetectable PED’s now exorbitant (supply and demand, Biogenesis out of business). that $5,000 could come in handy when the next PED Peddler comes crawling up from behind a rock.

  5. natslady - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Yeah, it is. It is a problem. Guy making zzzz million dollars a year, endangers his teammates with a temper tantrum because things don’t go his way, and he’s appealing over a $5,000 fine? He would spend that much on steaks and wine taking his buddies out to dinner. Pay the fine and donate another $5,000 to charity. Be a good guy for once.

    This is not a case of due process, this is a case of WASTING UNION DUES on frivolous appeals. Why am I not shocked? Charming as this guy can be in interviews, let’s not forget he did CHEAT.

    Wait for the minor-leaguer or fringe player that gets sacked unfairly, or a dozen other cases where management is in the wrong. This ain’t it.

    • Jack Marshall - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      “For once”? Ortiz is always a good guy. He lost it. He doesn’t have to apologize publicly to anyone…he apologized to his team mates, presumably, and paid for the phone.

      If he doesn’t think the fine is fair, he should appeal. The attitude that rich people shouldn’t care if relatively small amounts of money are taken from them is asinine—does it bother you when a a cashier shorts you 2 bucks? Are you a jerk to mention it?

      • natslady - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        Ok, I admit I don’t like rich people. I deal with them all the time in my job, and the sense of entitlement is just unbelievable. Just yesterday I got a call because a worker didn’t use the elevator (which takes a long time) but used the stairwell, carefully and quietly closed the door but the customer still complained because it disturbed her and said she would cancel her account and no tip if it happened again.

        Yeah, I wouldn’t mention $2.00. I wouldn’t, because it would get a cashier in trouble, a cashier who is even poorer than I am. I might ask it to the cashier to make them aware, but I would NEVER mention it to their supervisor.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        Yes, it bothers me when a cashier shorts me two bucks. And it is fine to mention it. If I smashed something as I mentioned it, I would be in trouble. Ortiz, though, I guess would be on my side. Apparently you would be too

      • ryanrockzzz - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        Considering the way you use aboslutes on the thread, how would you know if he’s a good guy or not? Also, we have no idea if he paid for the phone. If he made a public statement, it may help our accurate opinion of him. We also don’t know how the situation was handled behind close doors. And what I saw on tape doesn’t show me a good guy, it shows me an immature, me first type of action…but that’s not the point.

        I agree with you that he has every right to appeal a fine. He should. I wouldn’t want to lose 5,000 dollars, not matter how many millions I’ve made. I also can see not publicly apologizing to some degree.

        The part I don’t understand is why it is wrong to expect that. As a professional baseball player, supposed “cornerstone” or “face” of the Boston franchise, Ortiz should uphold a more mature and professional standard of handling himself. He could have went into the clubhouse and vented. When you destroy a phone in the dugout, your looking for attention…the wrong kind of it, IMO. Considering it wasn’t the phone in his OWN team’s dugout, makes it even worse to me. So yes, I have no problem expecting him to apologize publicly, although I won’t lose sleep if it never happens.

      • heyblueyoustink - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:01 AM


        I used to work retail in a very well to do part of the woods, and I’ve found this about folks with extreme wealth.

        Most of the time, you don’t notice them, because the majority are generally nice people. The douchebags stick out, and that’s why you maybe make that association.

        At least that’s been my experience. I aspire to be non douchey rich someday, personally, even if I currently get taxed out the ass.

      • natslady - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        @heyblue, you are right. There are some affluent (“rich”) people who are gracious and very aware that it is about 90% luck that has placed them in the best of circumstances. They were born into affluence, education, health, a peaceful nation, and a 100 other elements that combine to let them have no worries except which health club to join (yes, I know, they have personal tragedies, but we all do). But the others–!

      • heyblueyoustink - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        It takes ten nice rich folk to make up for that one rich douchnozzle that gets the BP skyrocketing. I was trying to sell cars to these people for three years. A Ford dealership in the middle of Lexus and Beamer land.

        They’re cool, for the most part, but you’re right, it just takes that one to get you angry at the whole lot of them.

        And remember, a certain percentage, whatever it is, worked to get there. I do my best never to generalize anything. Poppa taught me that’ll get your butt in trouble one day.

      • skids003 - Aug 8, 2013 at 1:12 PM

        Guys, it’s like that with any group of people. One can make the whole lot look bad, that’s the problem with generalizations, but it still happens all the time.

    • mlblogsbig3bosox - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Yeah? It’s still his money not yours.. I definitely think he should’ve apologized to his teammates (especially Pedey). Not the media. And if he did then he can deal quietly with other issues like losing 5,000 dollars.

      • Jack Marshall - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        Who says he didn’t apologize to Pedey? What do you know about it? That stuff should be handled behind closed doors.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        Except that he blew up publicly — so he should take responsibility publicly too.

      • mlblogsbig3bosox - Aug 8, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        @Jack Marshall:

        You’re stating exactly my point. This stuff shouldn’t be handled in front of the media. He should’ve just apologized (I don’t know if he did or didn’t, I’m just stating what was the correct thing to do) behind doors like you say and leave the fine stuff to him. Because, as I said above, it’s his money, not yours.

    • theskinsman - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      Let’s not forget that natslady hasn’t got a clue what she’s talking about. Again. What exactly did he ‘cheat’ at? You have nothing. as usual.

      • natslady - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        Failed drug test. Failed drug test he is STILL not accepting responsibility for.

      • theskinsman - Aug 8, 2013 at 6:08 PM

        What drug? Coffee? Heroin? maryjane? You still have ZERO. Accept responsibility for that.

    • bbthunderupokc - Aug 10, 2013 at 1:59 AM

      The baseline testing in 2003 was supposed to be a multi-tiered process. The tests supposedly were not sufficiently precise to distinguish between legal supplements (think GNC) and illegal steroids. If a player tested positive in the first round, they were told to stop any over-the-counter supplement and would be retested 10-14 days later. The person who revealed Ortiz’s name to the NYT has said he didn’t know what Ortiz tested positive for. The Union strongly came out and said that some of the names on the list were inaccurate and that the list contained many more names than had fully (i.e. after second round) tested positive. As such, I give Ortiz the benefit of the doubt. He has never been linked since, so you can’t just go off your assumption and dislike of the guy as overwhelming proof of his guilt, as far as steroids go. Should he be paying 5000 grand for a phone? Probably not. Does he look like a douche in appealing? He sure does. The charity idea was a nice thought, for sure. Maybe donate to an anger management group or something? I just hate the thought of your baseless and easy target “failed test” argument, as nobody, not even him or a union rep even know what he tested positive for and he hasn’t been a suspect ever since. Hard to go on those failed tests as confirmation, seeing as we don’t know what he was even confirmed as taking.

  6. steelers88 - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    What?!?!?!? Who cares if David Ortiz is appealing shouldn’t this guy whatever his name is be more upset about Arod appealing than Big Papi?

    • dan1111 - Aug 9, 2013 at 3:30 AM

      Don’t worry, I’m sure Shaughnessy is upset about A-Rod too. But given that he covers the Red Sox, it makes sense that he pays closer attention to them.

  7. blacksables - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    This is about greed and refusing to accept responsibility for his actions. Nice to know the union has his back while he does what’s legal.

    Which is kind of funny, because destruction of property is against the law in most states, and could carry a criminal conviction.

  8. DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    I don’t blame him for not liking it. It’s arrogant and childish.

    Baseball needs to have the ability to regulate fits of rage that destroy property in a visiting dugout and endanger others (and that is not hyperbole). Ortiz either believes that they should not have the right, or that the fine should be less. And that is his right. It’s also our right to call him an A-Hole for not taking a very minor penalty.

    A lawyer, on the other hand, loves only process

    • CyclePower - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:41 AM

      Especially if it’s billable.

  9. heyblueyoustink - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    To the folks trying to interject PED’s into this thread, please refrain:

    We’ve had our fill of it the past three weeks.

    I didn’t catch the part where he stuck a needle into his ass before assaulting the phone

    And I don’t assume when a road raging driver swings around me honking, popping the finger while cursing, that the driver is on PED’s. I just assume they’re angry for some reason. I just turn up “those damn blue collared tweekers” and bop along.

    Thank you.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      Is it okay to talk about the ESPN Body Issue?

      • heyblueyoustink - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        I’m sure Craig with his Matt Harvey Fathead would be OK with that.

        So who am I to argue?

      • historiophiliac - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        Hello. What?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        Right on queue :)

      • historiophiliac - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        Weren’t you calling me?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:48 AM

        Actually – yes!

  10. Jonny 5 - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    I think he should just pay up and move on with life. When you maliciously destroy property that does not belong to you I believe you should have to pay a penalty. Every single time. Maybe he should be brought up on civil charges of destroying property instead?

    • indaburg - Aug 8, 2013 at 12:33 PM

      I agree. And I hate agreeing with that curly headed Boston troll, and I’m a Big Papi fan. Ortiz was out of line with his ridiculous temper tantrum. Just because Ortiz has the right to do something, doesn’t mean he should. Appealing this tiny fine, relatively speaking, makes him look foolish and out of touch. Entitled. A rare mistep for the big fella.

      (We’re up all night to get lucky…)

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 8, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!! That song!!!!! It hurts my brain!


  11. mrpinkca - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    I have to agree with Shaughnessy on this one. Ortiz makes 14 million this year, 5,000 is not a big deal. Rodriguez stands to lose 30 million, which is a very big deal.

  12. masonatx - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    What happened to personal accountability?

  13. oldskimmy26 - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    David Ortiz signed a 2 year, $26 million contract. Let’s say that’s $13 mil per year
    Divide that 13 mil per year by 162 games, and you get around $80,000 a game.

    In other words, David Ortiz has been fined approximately 6% of his daily salary.

    For someone who makes $50,000 a year, that’s the equivalent of being fined $12.

    It’s less than a parking ticket or a speeding ticket. And that’s assuming he doesn’t have to pay any lawyers for this appeal.

    It’s his right to appeal, I just don’t understand how it’s worth it.

  14. mpops86 - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Ah the life of a baseball blogger. 20% coverage of your sport, 80% coverage of the coverage of your sport.

    • Bob Loblaw - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      I think that 20% is a little high.

  15. toodrunktotastethischicken - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    At least he made contact with the phone though.

  16. CyclePower - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Except nowhere in that rather short blurb does Dan state that Ortiz shouldn’t be denied his “rights” to due process (we know how big that is with you). Craig, if you really think deeply about this, could you perhaps recognize why this guy and many many others would be indignant? Is it because, in your self-referential world, the rest of us are slack jawed, pitch fork mob, red state simpletons? I’ll posit a hypothesis: maybe people see this as another example of an athlete with a sense of entitlement who doesn’t feel the need to take the slightest bit of personal, ethical …and moral (I think you have difficulty relating those last two concepts to baseball players) responsibility for wrong actions.

    Ortiz went berzerk and broke the phone. It wasn’t his to break. Literally millions of people have witnessed it on film. There’s no ambiguity, no mitigating circumstances. Ortiz probably has five large in cash in his wallet as we speak. Is it really too much to ask for the guy to just say, “My bad.” and pay for the damn phone? All filing an appeal means is that some attorney somewhere is billing by the hour to shuffle the requisite papers. No one is saying Ortiz should be denied his right to exercise an appeal. They’re just saying he’s an ass for doing so.

    • natslady - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      Very well stated.

  17. stlouis1baseball - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Apparently…it’s a problem if people have a problem with Ortiz appealing.
    He went bonkers in front of everyone. I mean…dude went off!
    He’s lucky $5,000.00 is all he got hit with.
    What the hell is he appealing?

  18. oldskimmy26 - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Another thought, what exactly is Ortiz’s case when his appeal is heard?

    That he didn’t destroy the phone? It was the one armed man? That $5K is a financial hardship on him? That swinging a bat in the dugout and sending pieces of plastic flying is perfectly safe?

    I know it’s his right Calcaterra, but seriously, what’s the point of appealing this? How could it possible be worth it?

    • ptfu - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      Well, he could argue precedent. He could say something like “the last five players who broke ballpark equipment were fined an average of $2,500. So why is my fine twice as high?” ***

      It’s not that he can’t afford it, or that he didn’t do it, or that he doesn’t deserve to get punished. He could still say $5K is excessive in light of previous violations.

      I’d be willing to bet that A-Rod is going to argue something like this on his own appeal, saying that his punishment is far more drastic than what previous offenders have received. Yay, I found a way to work A-Rod into the post!

      ***This is a totally made-up example. I’ve no idea what the precedent is for penalties on destroying stuff.

  19. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    First I’m defending the MLB players union and Alex Rodriguez, now I’m agreeing with Dan Shaughnessy. It’s been a very upside down week. I’m not entirely sure I haven’t fallen into the Twilight Zone. Next thing you know, Jon Heyman will write an insightful, rational, and intelligent article.

    OK, no that last one is just lunacy.

  20. scoobies05 - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    if a cashier shorted me 2 bucks and i smashed up the store with a baseball bat i would be arrested. thats a poor analogy. ortiz did what he did and should man up and pay the consequences

  21. oldskimmy26 - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    I’m fascinated not only by the fact that Ortiz is appealing, but that Calcaterra doesn’t understand the backlash.

    Let’s tell the story this way. Let’s say I make $50K per year. Wednesday night is softball league night, and the ump screws me on a strike call during the game. After the game, I’m so frustrated that I take my bat and beat the #$^%% out of a payphone next to the field. (Payphones still exist, right?)

    At just that moment, Officer Barney Fife happens along and sees me assaulting the payphone. He issues me a ticket for $12. I head off to the bar to meet the guys where I explain to them what happened with Officer Fife. When they stop laughing hysterically, I explain to them that I’m going to appeal the $12.

    Yeah, that would make sense to them.

  22. rickdobrydney - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    PED Roided, entitled, prima donna, fat, 1/2 a player jerk —– This clown doesn’t even play the field, struts to the plate and calls attention to himself 4 times a night — and styles after each and every home run —- what a delusional asshole—–

    • theskinsman - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      what a delusional asshole—–

      You typed it. It’s not like he threw a broken bat at someone, got caught over and over( or ever),or had his leg snap for no reason.

  23. mathieug79 - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    BREAKING: David Ortiz wins appeal process, Umpire Tim Timmons urged to pay $5000!

  24. jfk69 - Aug 8, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    I pay for cheap plastic phone. That no I phone. I fight fine on principal. Like Alex.
    I know Selig behind this.He released my failed test 10 years ago and never tell me what drug.

  25. 13yrsmlbvet - Aug 8, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Pretty sure any fine 5k and up is automatically appealed by the union regardless what the player thinks. What he did was wrong but that’s how the process goes. No excuse for his actions.

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