David Ortiz

David Ortiz on arguing with umpires: 'I hate it'

Rob Bradford
April 21, 2015 - 4:30 pm

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- David Ortiz was suspended for one game by Major League Baseball Tuesday for allegedly making contact with John Tumpane. He is appealing the decision, although the designated hitter wasn't definitively suggesting he was without fault. "I have to watch that video to see what point I touched him because I don'€™t remember, to be honest with you," Ortiz said. "I don'€™t really remember. And I wasn'€™t even arguing with him. I was talking with the third base umpire. If it happened, I don'€™t know when it happened and I didn'€™t try that because trust me, I know. It might be one move that I made or whatever. But I don'€™t know." Throughout the hours leading into the Red Sox series opener with the Rays, Ortiz seemed content in letting the situation play out. The message the DH truly wanted to get across was in regards to his relationship with umpires in general. Ortiz pointed out that in recent years he has made it a point not to confront umpires, with his previous ejection before Saturday's exit coming July 27, 2013. He has been tossed three times since 2008, and 10 times in his career. "I don'€™t want to argue with umpires," he said. "I don'€™t think that'€™s what people come to see. They'€™re good guys. I don'€™t think anything they do is personal with anybody. I don'€™t see it that way at all. Things happen in the game in situations, your adrenaline is kicking in at 1000 miles per hour, you'€™re trying to win a ballgame and things happen. It happened in the game so what can you do about it. "I get bad calls all the time, but I don'€™t bitch about it all the time. You can even ask the umpire. You know what I'€™ve been doing lately, and nobody even knows it? Whenever an umpire makes a bad call on me I go to my next at-bat and I let him know, '€˜That pitch you called that last about '€¦'€™ And he would be like, '€˜OK, I'€™m going to pay attention to it. I'€™m going to watch it.'€™ That'€™s it. That'€™s it." Ortiz offers the example of this past weekend to support his case. Even with the designated hitter's frustrations with umpire Jerry Meals -- first as Friday's home plate umpire, then from third base where the umpired ruled that Ortiz swung -- he noted that the two had civil conversations throughout Sunday's tilt. "Even that guy that I was arguing with, yesterday we met up at second base and we talked to each other fine. Everything was cool. That'€™s it," Ortiz said. "It'€™s not like people want to make a scene like this is some personal stuff. No. You'€™re involved in a baseball game where you'€™re trying to win. You see an umpire miss a call, your adrenaline gets in the way." The DH added, "I don'€™t like arguing with umpires in general. I hate it. I hate it more than what people think I do. I have a good relationship with them. I have no complaints with umpires. But like I say, it'€™s a game that we play, you'€™re trying to win and whenever you feel like something is wrong you'€™re going to have to say something about it and then you move on." Ortiz also touched on a byproduct of the weekend's events -- comments on Twitter from Baltimore television analyst Jim Palmer who suggested the DH was being selfish in getting tossed. The Sox slugger implored such observers to take better stock of the situations. "All these people who criticize and talk all the trash they want, they need to stay away from that," Ortiz noted. "That'€™s in between players and umpires. It'€™s in the moment thing. I don'€™t think going into a game thinking about what he did the day before. I most of the time talk to the umpire that we disagreed on something the day before and we move on. It'€™s just part of the game."