Ex-Skipper Bobby Valentine Blasts David Ortiz For Quitting On Red Sox
Former Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has criticized slugger David Ortiz for quitting early by putting himself on the disabled list following the blockbuster trade that brought four of their key players to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After a DL stint from July 18 to late August with a strained right Achilles, Ortiz went 2-for-4 with two RBIs on Aug. 24.
The next day, the deal that landed Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers became official.
Then, Ortiz returned to the disabled list on Aug. 27 and never came back. At that time, the Red Sox were 60-66, 13½ games behind the Yankees in the AL East and 8½ out of a wild-card spot.
"He realized that this trade meant that we're not going to run this race and we're not even going to finish the race properly and he decided not to play anymore," Valentine said in an interview on "Costas Tonight" on NBC Sports Network. "I think at that time it was all downhill from there."
Fernando Cuza, Ortiz's agent, denied Valentine's claim, saying that the slugger simply followed recommendation from the team doctor and his personal doctor that he needs rest and therapy.
"It's unfortunate that Bobby would be putting blame on David for the way this season has ended," said Cuza. "Nothing could be further from the truth. David was having his best season since 2007 and has been one of the most durable players in the game."
"David loves to play this game and has never quit on anyone, and most important of all on this team that means so much to him. He has been a leader on this team and is disappointed in Bobby's remarks," Cuza added.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington also came to Ortiz's defense, vehemently denying Valentine's accusation.
"I wouldn't be trying to re-sign him if I had any concern about David's commitment to baseball or to the Red Sox," Cherington said. "During a trying year, David was a leader for us on and off the field. Unfortunately, an Achilles injury cut his season short. It was a tough break in a season full of tough breaks for us."
The Red Sox and Ortiz are closing in on a two-year contract extension that could be finalized in the coming weeks.
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