David Ortiz

David Ortiz explains why he was unavailable Sunday

Rob Bradford
July 16, 2015 - 8:34 pm

ANAHEIM -- Forget the All-Star Game, it was David Ortiz's Sunday sickness that dominated conversation during baseball's hiatus over the past few days. The question: Why didn't Ortiz play in the Red Sox' series finale against the Yankees Sunday? Ortiz, it was explained after the Sox' loss to New York, had been sent home with an upper-respiratory issue. But without the designated hitter's explanation heading into the four-day break -- along with the need of Ortiz's bat during what as perceived as the first half's pivotal game -- the theories and conversation took off. On Thursday, Ortiz finally clarified things. Speaking to WEEI.com prior to the Red Sox' optional workout at Angels Stadium, Ortiz -- who had spent the entire break at his Massachusetts home yet indicated he wasn't aware of the controversy -- said his absence from the lineup wasn't complicated: He was sick. Ortiz offered this detailed timeline: "I was starting to get sick Saturday, but it wasn't like it was Sunday," he said. "I had a bad flu, coughing a lot, fever, body soreness. The shower hurt, that's how bad it was. So when I got to the field on Sunday, John asked me how I felt. I was like, 'John, I'm taking a bunch of medication right now so don't take me out of the lineup yet. Let's see how I feel in a couple of hours.' That happened around 10. So I took a whole bunch of medicine and I went to the trainer's room and I just chilled there for a while, for a couple of hours, to see how I felt. He came back and checked up on me. It was my second day with the flu and I was feeling horrible. So the doctor came up and checked up on me and he sent me home. "I had everything going on that day. I had a really bad flu. At my house later on that night, after watching the game, I had this high fever that hit me. I just don't get when people want to judge you when you're sick." Ortiz explained that he finally started feeling better Monday night, having carried a temperature of 104 degrees late Sunday afternoon. Having rejoined his teammates for a round of batting practice, the DH was in good spirits and seemingly ready to rejoin the Red Sox lineup for their series opener Friday against the Angels and starter C.J. Wilson. (With no off-days in sight, Red Sox manager John Farrell noted Thursday that Ortiz isn't likely to man first base anytime soon.) "Do you think I want to miss a big game against the Yankees? I have actually played games sick, but not that sick," he explained. "I was pretty bad that day. Pretty bad. I started feeling better the next day. "It was just one of those flus there was nothing you could do about it. You just have to deal with it."