David Ortiz‘s sense of entitlement slays me. In the seventh inning of Boston’s 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles last night, he stepped out while a 3-0 pitch was being delivered. I thought at first he’d called time before Jairo Asencio‘s pitch was thrown and was miffed that plate umpire Tim Timmons had not granted the timeout. Later, on replay, it seemed as though he started walking to first while Asencio was throwing the pitch, and the high strike was what set off his histrionics. The pitch looked high. But by showing up both umpire and pitcher by stepping out, he brought on what happened.
If he did ask for a timeout, it was only verbal, not a hand signal. Either way, the umpire, although we can’t assume what was on his mind, called the high pitch a strike, with Ortiz standing half in the batter’s box and half out. Then Ortiz said something that was apparently not, “My dear Mr. Umpire, is it possible that pitch was somewhat outside the borders of the prescribed, rectangular zone in which a pitched ball should be deemed a strike?”
So the count was 3-1. Then Asencio threw two more strikes, sending Ortiz back to the dugout, and the histrionics were just getting started. Once he was back in the dugout, he hit what he swung at. The episode was despicable. He literally could have killed a teammate, never mind damaging that poor phone. He then rushed back out of the dugout and had to be restrained while screaming a few, far less civil words at Timmons, and was ejected.
This is what Major League Baseball needs fans to see right now, on top of dealing with the public fervor over PED scandals and suspensions?
The Boston fan who sat behind me in section 308, and got louder and more adult in his vocabulary with each passing can of beer, didn’t help matters. He began the evening as a pretty nice guy. He said he’s lived in Harrisburg for the past two years and loves the Orioles, although he’s a Sox fan. But he couldn’t hold his tongue with his wife and daughter right next to him. He was wearing out most people’s eardrums, and we went downstairs to get away and find better seats in the 8th inning.
He should have gotten the same fate as Ortiz.
The home run by the Red Sox Stephen Drew in the sixth was a comedy of errors that made it seem like an inside-the-parker at first, as Drew circled the bases and escaped a rundown gone terribly awry between third and home. But the replay the umpires watched, and the one the viewers saw, showed the ball caromed off the wall right behind the roof of the grounds crew’s area, thus a clear-cut home run.