Speaking purely as someone who adores stupid sports controversies, I never want this baseball offseason to end. The Saga of Drake LaRoche spun my head so completely that I almost forgot about this spring’s other big storylines: Bryce Harper telling the old-timers to stuff it and Goose Gossage screaming about the youths. Thankfully, David Ortiz has put us back on track.
Ortiz—who is the revered on-field and clubhouse leader of a team that authored the greatest comeback in baseball history and won three championships, mind you, not a callow millennial teen—was asked to wade into the debate over bat-flipping and respecting the dang game that Harper started and Gossage enflamed, and he did not hold back. From the Boston Globe:
“This game is competition. This ain’t no baby-sitting. There ain’t no crying. When somebody strikes me out, I’m not up there crying, like, ‘Boo-hoo . . . this guy’ . . . No, no, no. There’s none of that. There’s no babysitting in baseball. There’s no babysitting. If you’re going to take it like a baby, I’m going to take [you] deep again. How about that? Take it like a man and make better, quality pitches the next time I face you, and then you get [me] out, and then you do whatever the hell you want. This is competition.”
“My daddy told me, when I was 7, ‘Even if I am on the mound teaching the game to you, and you are facing me, try to hurt me. This is competition,’ ” said Ortiz. “Respect? Respect my [expletive]. I don’t have to respect nobody when I’m between those two lines. I’m trying to beat everybody when I’m between those two lines. This ain’t no crying. There’s no, ‘Let me be concerned about taking you deep.’ No.
I hope Jose Bautista, David Ortiz, and Bryce Harper collectively decide to flip their bat and take a two-minute stroll around the bases after every single home run they hit this year.