Man your battle stations, Rays fans.
Big Papi David Ortiz, the Undisputed King of Boston Sports, has declared war on David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Let's dive in to what Ortiz had to say about the Rays' Cy Young winner after last nights events:
"So first at-bat of the season against him he threw at me. I mean, it’s a war. It’s on. Next time he hits me he better bring the gloves. I have no respect for him no more...I was surprised for a minute until I watched the video. I thought everything was cool. You can’t be acting like a little girl out there. You aren’t going to win every time. When you give it up, that’s an experience for the next time. But when you’re to be acting like a little b**** every time you give it up, bounce back like that and put your teammates in jeopardy, that’s going to cost you."
You can read his full quote here.
Aside from the fact that Ortiz says outrageous things and goes through his usual "tough guy" routine several times during the course of a season, Ortiz's words were both out of line and laughable.
Anytime he criticizes how a player's ethics or how a player plays the game, it's downright hypocritical. For a guy that was documented for using performance enhancing drugs in 2003 and pimps home runs as if he is the crown jewel of all MLB hitters...forgive me if I have hard time taking Ortiz seriously.
Of course, this all part of the act for Ortiz and frankly, the Red Sox as an organization. This tough guy, look-at-how-much-I-care attitude is something Rays fans are all too familiar with. Too often, we see guys like Ortiz quick to argue and try to intimidate other players, but rarely do we see Ortiz actually do anything about it. Boston players are quick to call out a team when they feel they've been wronged, but also simultaneously ignore the plank in their own eye.
Last week's incident involving the Red Sox lashing out the Rays for stealing a base up five runs in the seventh inning is comical to say the least, especially as Joe Maddon pointed out, the Red Sox did the very same thing to the Rays in last year's ALDS.
Even last night, during his rant about Price, Ortiz conveniently forgot about how his own teammate Mike Carp slid in spikes high on Yunel Escobar during the very same game. Most MLB fans would argue that sliding spikes high is more bush league of a move than beaning a guy. But to Ortiz, hitting him...means war...whatever that means.
I think the most frustrating part about all of this is the freedom Ortiz has to do whatever he wants and not be reprimanded for it. The Boston media is so scared of Ortiz that it's not even funny. To call another player "a little b****" in front of the media and then to not be called out on making that statement is reprehensible. But I doubt you'll hear a peep out of anybody in Boston criticizing Ortiz for those comments and that's sad.
However, what's done is done.
Apparently, the series between two of the worst teams in the American League is now a war because Big Papi said it is. I'm sure the Red Sox will wait to retaliate because of how quick the umpires will be to issue warnings or eject players for the rest of this series. But now that I think about it more, it seems the Red Sox throw common sense out the door when their feelings get hurt and will cross the line sooner rather than later (i.e. throwing at Luke Scott four pitches in a row, throwing behind Evan Longoria's head last night).
Will Ortiz back up words with any action? Probably not. He'll just continue to yell and scream and throw tantrums when he feels disrespected.
Let's just be thankful the Rays aren't a dugout phone.