Ever heard this story before?
1) Rays pitcher throws pitch to David Ortiz.
2) Ortiz crushes home run and flips bat; walks the bases slowly enough for you to walk to the fridge and crack a beer when he’s heading to first and get back to the game before he crosses home plate.
3) Rays pitcher complains to press after the game.
4) David Ortiz is not impressed.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because it is, and Sunday’s game apparently left a bad enough taste in Rays pitcher Chris Archer’s mouth that he felt compelled to open up to the media about it. David Ortiz’s 3-run home run, the trademark bat flip, and a stroll around the bags in the third inning of yesterday’s game didn’t sit well with the losing pitcher.
“”I think it was a perfect example of what (David) Price said,” Archer said. “All of my interactions … off the field have been good but when it comes to him on the field, I don’t know what makes him think that he can showboat the way he does and then nobody retaliate, nobody look at him a funny way or nobody pitch him inside.”
“I don’t know why he feels like that but obviously he feels the way David [Price] said he does. He feels like he’s bigger than the game. He feels like the show is all about him when in reality, if I don’t walk Daniel Nava, if I don’t give up an infield single to Dustin Pedroia, his one home run means nothing.”
(This logic, of course, makes about as much sense as “Well, if we had scored more runs than the other team, we would have won”, but…moving on…)
“I hope he realizes that there’s more that goes into it than just him. I don’t know. I feel like you can’t say that your true character is defined by one action, but multiple actions speak to who you are. That’s all I have to say.”
Understandably, emotions run high after a tight contest with a division rival (just ask Richard Sherman and Erin Andrews), but David Ortiz didn’t respond to Archer with nearly as much venom as he did when David Price beaned him and Mike Carp earlier this year. Suffice to say, Ortiz was not impressed with Archer’s assessment.
“Whatever, dude. There’s always going to be comments out there,” Ortiz said. “He’s not the right guy to be saying that, I don’t think. He’s got two days in the league.”
“What can I tell you, man? Players these days are too sensitive about things. Just leave it at that. I think he’s a good pitcher, I think he has great stuff. He’s a guy I think is going to be pretty good, but it takes some time to get to that level.”
The difference, of course, between this and David Price’s venting after last year’s ALDS is that David Price, is, well, David Price, one of the most feared pitchers in the league.
Even if both teams’ odds for the playoffs are sketchy at best, this rivalry looks to be just as entertaining as Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage from here on out. Baseball could always use a few more teams that can’t stand each other.