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Joe Torre smacks David Ortiz over his criticism of official scorers

Jun 20, 2014, 5:03 PM EDT

David Ortiz AP

On Wednesday David Ortiz whined about not being awarded a hit on a play during the Red Sox-Twins game. It’s not the first time he’s done this, and after that game he talked specifically about how the official scorers in Boston displease him because they don’t do him a solid now and then as a hometown ballplayer.

Today Joe Torre, in his capacity as Major League Baseball Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations, issued a statement telling him, somewhat kindly, to stuff it:

“Official scorers have a job to do, and by their very nature, their decisions don’t make everyone happy.  But everyone in our game deserves respect.  I hope that David will meet that standard going forward, because I don’t share the same views that he expressed.

“Official scorers should never give any benefit of the doubt to the home team.  We want their best judgment, based on the rules.  We have a process to review the decisions that our scorers make.  Even when there are inevitable disagreements, we expect everybody to act professionally and respect the game and the integrity of our scorers.”

In other words: quit your crying, David.

  1. Kevin S. - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Can’t wait to hear the whining about how Torre should have withheld comment because he’s obviously biased against the Red Sox (I think somebody actually claimed he should recuse himself from a disciplinary action earlier this year).

    • mcsnide - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      As a Red Sox fan, I personally wholeheartedly endorse Torre’s statement. Ortiz has been whining publicly about scoring decisions for years. He once interrupted a Francona press conference to complain about losing an RBI or some other scoring horror. And don’t even get me started on his annual whinefest about not being respected enough contractually. At some point, enough’s enough.

      • flamethrower101 - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:27 PM

        The only reason Boston tolerates it as much as they do is because his bat still plays large for that team. But if he were struggling like he did in ’09, even as a fan favorite and all-time great Red Sox, would they have as much patience?

      • Glenn - Jun 20, 2014 at 6:52 PM

        To be fair, Ortiz was egged on to complain during Francona’s press conference. Pedroia pranked him by telling him that Henry was getting the scorers to screw him over so the Sox could sign him for less. Good prank and it worked.

        I am as sick of Ortiz’s whining as the next Sox fan, but most major leaguers are pretty stat conscious and Ortiz has had to play for a contract every year, so his stats mean more to him than most guys. Players with his production and years in the majors are enjoying fruitful and long-term contracts much of the time. I’m not endorsing his complaining, just explaining it.

        Back to Torre – did Jeter ever have an error at home during Torre’s tenure? Certainly he is aware of the home park bias.

  2. flamethrower101 - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    There’s an obvious “OH but Joe used to be a Yankee so of course he attacks David” thing here. But that aside, good for Joe. Official scorers have it hard enough. Back in Texas during Yu Darvish’s no-no, the scorer – whether you agree with the call or not – had a hard job. He ultimately cited a rule in making his decision, and even though it was overturned, David hardly slammed him.

    • mikhelb - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:22 PM

      “even though it was overturned, David hardly slammed him”

      I think the correct phrase is:”David slammed him hardly”, because indeed he criticized hardly the official scorer in private where he filed a protest against the scorer. while on radio and TV he said he was ok with it.

      I think Torre responded because of the protests the sox or Ortíz have filed to revert “errors” onto “hits”.

      • flamethrower101 - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:50 PM

        I still think Ortiz appealing the “error” in Texas was bush league. He said he wouldn’t have appealed it if Darvish got the no-no, so why appeal it because he didn’t? It just sounds very petty to me, worse so because he took it public.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 20, 2014 at 6:10 PM

        Speaking of slamming, it’s too bad Joe isn’t still managing. We could see if Papi would try to play Pedro to Torre’s Zimmer.

  3. mikhelb - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    Respect the game, beeeeyoootch!

    • infieldhit - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:31 PM

      Ugh.

  4. lordd99 - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    I’m surprised players are in anyway allowed to communicate with the official scorer. Apparently the White Sox pitching coach is known for calling the official scorer to try and get hits overturned into errors to protect his pitchers’ ERAs. A bit crazy.

    • gloccamorra - Jun 21, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      Other teams do that too. Part of the reason for that is, the official scorer has a period of time after the game is over to change his mind. Bud Black, a former pitching coach, actually got a scorer to change his ruling to save a few runs for Dustin Moseley, who Black coached when pitching coach for the Angels. Black had no qualms about hanging his shortstop with an error for getting handcuffed by a wicked one hop line drive (but that’s a whole ‘nother topic, isn’t it?).

  5. SBoy - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    If this was happy Pappi’s first “whining” episode, you might be able to get away with the Torre/yankee/red sox angle… but it’s not… Ortiz is a star and when he whines it gets attention. Torre’s response was appropriate. The statement, quoted in this post anyway, didn’t go to far.

  6. psly2124 - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    He didn’t whine that much about his positive steroid test a few years back

    • sophiethegreatdane - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:04 PM

      Oh yes he did.

      And just wait until you see the results of his investigation into the matter!

  7. maddog11896 - Jun 20, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    I’m going to get heat and hate for it, but I’ll say it anyway: this past few years, David Ortiz has been the big hero in Boston and he’s treated like a king. How many PED tests has he failed? One

    Ryan Braun gets booed unmercifully everywhere he goes and gets bashed by everyone for lying and then admitting his mistakes. How many PED tests has he failed? 0

    “But Maddog, that whole thing in the 2011 offseason. What was that all about?”
    Well you see, he failed for using a banned substance, which rumor has it was a cream he was using to help with herpes. So there’s that…

    • deathsfuture - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:20 PM

      Ortiz didn’t fail any tests in the eyes of MLB. His positive test was before it mattered. I still think he does stuff, but so does half the league. Some of these guys hire people to make sure they do not test positive but still get every advantage that they can. It is all about seeing what they can do without getting a positive test. Pretty sad really.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      “Ryan Braun gets booed unmercifully everywhere he goes and gets bashed by everyone for lying and then admitting his mistakes. How many PED tests has he failed? 0″

      Hi, Year 2012 here. I guess I forgot tell you that I ended. So to bring you up to speed: Ryan Braun has admitted that he used PED’s. So that test he failed that was later overturned on “chain of command issues”? Yea….you pretty much are the only person on the planet still thinks he wasn’t using. Including Braun. Who has admitted he used PED’s. Which makes your claim he didn’t….kinda odd

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 20, 2014 at 6:52 PM

    Shoot, go ahead an file the formal appeal if he really wants to get something changed. What is the point of throwing these big public tantrums that only serve to damage his public persona? Maybe that time would be better spent looking at some video of pitchers.

    The fact remains he grounded to the first baseman, but reached because the relatively green 1B couldn’t handle the ball. In other words, it would be tough to say Ortiz got the job done. How much does he really want people focusing on such a play??

    • deathsfuture - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:49 PM

      Mauer is not even close to a GREEN First Baseman. He has played a ton of first base (over 100 games started) by now, even if this is going to be his first full season. I question if you saw the play because you called Mauer “green.” He is an 11 season veteran and knows how to play firstbase. The play would have been amazing for any of the first basemen in the league that are not left handed.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 21, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        FWIW, 100 games is not a lot. If that is the best argument you can make against me calling Mauer gree at 1B, I think I feel pretty solid with my assertion.

        I am not disparaging Mauer here, I am simply saying that it is a makeable play, Mauer almost made it, and that if he had a few years of 1B experience (instead of 60% of a season) he likely would have made the play.

        Either way, it was not a great hit by Ortiz so I don’t really think he should be making a stink out of it. A grounder to first, even a sharp one, should be an out. Sometimes a hitter gets lucky and it isn’t , but that soes not indicate some great skill on the hitter’s part.

  9. deathsfuture - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    I think it is totally unprofessional for Torre to say anything at all. It is a baseball player blowing off steam. Torre is Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations. He needs to act like it. This was not something Torre should have commented on at all, especially with his Redsox past.

    I personally think Ortiz has credible comments. Everyone that saw that play would agree that it should have been a hit. It was a hot shot off the bat to the backhand of Mauer. If he doesn’t touch the ball it goes as a it. By making a really good effort on it somehow the play turns into an error.

    For years the Official Scorer has given the benefit of the doubt to the home team. The fact that Torre expects long time fans to believe that this never happened or does not continue to go on is ridiculous. He talks out of both sides of his mouth. If he was still wearing pinstripes he would be complaining about the same things.

    • schreibdave - Jun 21, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      I think Torre made a statement because Ortiz was pressuring an employee of MLB to give him something that he didnt deserve. MLB has an interest in protecting its scorers from being bullied by the star players of the home town team. I agree that the home town’s stars get a break every once in a while (Jeter) but that’s different than a player going to the media and demanding a break. Shut up and play baseball.

  10. tfbuckfutter - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    Joe then went back to admiring his picture of Derek Jeter’s Gold Gloves that he legitimately won without any help from official scorers.

    • schreibdave - Jun 21, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      I agree that Jeter didnt likely deserve those gold gloves. But you didnt see him interrupt a press conference to demand them.

  11. yahmule - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    Torre went on to say, “Ortiz is the kind of guy who would have sex with a super-model and then complain that Little Papi got wet.”

  12. yahmule - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    Torre went on to say, “Ortiz is the kind of guy who would have sex with a super-model and then complain that Little Papi got wet.”

    • yahmule - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:44 PM

      Well, goddammit.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:47 PM

        It beared repeating.

      • yahmule - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:59 PM

        I had already planned to include it in my year end anthology. This is overkill.

  13. bowltr - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    As a Sox fan i commend Torre for saying something. He absolutely should have defended the scorer. Big Babi was questioning the integrity of the process, A process that has been around for a hundred years and will be around for a hundred more,
    Babi has been whining for years and I’m just sick of it.
    My contract sux……wah wah
    I did not take PED’s……….wah wah
    They took and RBI away from me……wah wah
    I don’t get enough MVP votes……..wah wah

    Just shut the f u c k up and play.

    BTW……….Notice you whined your way into a 2yr deal and what are you hitting……….245?

    • tfbuckfutter - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      Umm….his OPS of .820 is pretty good.

      And he’s tied for 7th in HRs in the AL (9th in MLB).

      I whine about people complaining, wah wah
      -you

    • deathsfuture - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      Another terrible point!

      ***Newsflash*** Ortiz is the best player on the Redsox right now! Stats don’t lie. .245 average is still 5th on the team against Bogaerts .269 (qualifying averages only). That aside, Ortiz leads the team in HR (16), walks (40), RBIs (43), OPS, SLG, and has a solid .349 OBP (oh, he is not even close to the top in strikeouts either!).
      He is not the best in the game, but he is the best on the Redsox right now, and it is by a pretty large margin. Mind you, if he had anyone around him to protect him, he would be batting .280 easy.

      • bowltr - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:35 PM

        The best player on a 4th place team………….just what the Sox wanted when they gave him his extension
        Maybe he stopped taking roids over the winter?

  14. bowltr - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    Shocker…………more people coming to the defense of Babi!

    Can’t we just expect our athletes to act like………..I don’t know………….mature adults? Is that too much to ask?

  15. go4two - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    F Torre !

    • yahmule - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      Do you mean Joe’s brother, Frank?

  16. willrobmbukudap - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    Geez what’s a big poop to do … funny thing is Big Poopi wasn’t whining when he was slammin the Roids and/or the HGH … hahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaacklouieeeeeeeee

  17. ejannetta - Jun 21, 2014 at 7:59 AM

    BooHoo!…..Ortiz just had a case of Roid Rage.

  18. nvl004 - Jun 21, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    least likable guy in baseball. Seriously, i’d rather hear Barry Bonds complain about the official measurement of his roid induced HR’s than hear this guy talk about anything.

    the same guy that attacked a telephone with a baseball bat still complaining about respect.

  19. nbjays - Jun 21, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    TLDR version…

    Ortiz: Waaaaaah!
    Torre: STFU

    Well said, Joe.

  20. cranbery - Jun 21, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Leave Big Papi alone………..He is one of the Best! Can you honestly say he is the only one to ever complain? Joe Torre is hardly one to criticize!

  21. canadatude - Jun 21, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Mad dog, that case of herpes sure explains the whining. Why can,t he just suck it up and get some real hits?

  22. gloccamorra - Jun 21, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Papi may be a cry baby, but the official scorers have been criticized by others in the press. They’re not league or Commissioner’s Office employees, they’re chosen and paid by the local club. Other than being “baseball writers”, there’s no real standard.

    With all games televised, how hard would it be to put some replay equipment at the scorer’s table and put an umpire up there to record the “official description and accounts of Major League Baseball”? Have the ump/scorer review those reviewable plays, hand signal the crew on the field, and get it done in seconds instead of minutes.

    • schreibdave - Jun 21, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      I dont want to see games extended by seconds so that scorers can look at replays and debate whether a player deserves a hit or a fielder an error. As a fan I dont care.

  23. yahmule - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    You know what’s awesome about Ortiz? If he gets a questionable hit that probably should have been an error, he requests those plays be changed as well. He is merely a seeker of truth. Scorn him and you scorn the very essence of fair play.

  24. ilovesports13 - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    MLB will be a much better place once Ortiz has retired.

  25. go4two - Jun 21, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    What a POS ! F Joe

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