David Ortiz's three-run home run would be all the Red Sox needed in yesterday's 3-2 win over Tampa. But he couldn't have known that at the time—it was the third inning—yet Ortiz flipped his bat like he had just won a game, setting off yet another war of words with the Rays.
''I don't know what makes him think that he can showboat the way he does, and then nobody retaliates,'' said Rays pitcher Chris Archer. (This isn't really the point here, but I'll tell him exactly why Ortiz thinks that—because no one does retaliate. If Archer was so pissed off about the bat flip, he could have retaliated when he faced Ortiz again in the fifth.)
''Nobody looks at him in a funny way or pitches 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.''
Archer was referring to David Price's comments about Ortiz thinking he is "bigger than the game," after a couple of bench-clearing dustups back in May. A couple of beefs that themselves echo back to Price's frustrations with Ortiz admiring his home runs in the playoffs last season. The Rays-Red Sox rivalry is a long-running show, and let no one say Ortiz doesn't embrace his role.
"Whatever, dude," Ortiz said. "There's always going to be comments out there. He's not the right guy to be saying that, I think. He's got two days in the league, and to be bitching and complaining about stuff like that."
(This was Archer's 48th career start. Details, details; that's some quality big-timing.)
The company line on anything regarding baseball's unwritten rules remains the same: You don't like a guy pimping his homers? Don't let him hit homers. But I'm happy to have any new chapter in Rays-Red Sox, baseball's best and most authentic rivalry. And if it involves David Ortiz, who this year seems to be embracing his heel role? Even better. These two teams meet next on Aug. 29.