After the Boston Red Sox's dramatic 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, you'd think David Ortiz would be jolly. He hit a game-tying home run in the 10th inning, then Mike Napoli one-upped him with a walk-off homer the very next at-bat.
But in the clubhouse, Ortiz was still hung up on something that happened in the seventh inning, still angry with the official scorer, still thinking he should have been given a hit. You'd think an extra-inning, walk-off win on back-to-back homers would wipe the slate clean, erase the disdain, but apparently not.
Ortiz was still more than happy to call out the official scorer at Fenway Park because of a sharp grounder he hit at Twins first baseman Joe Mauer in the seventh. Mauer dove and couldn't handle it, and the ball ricocheted away. Ortiz made it to first safely, but it was ruled an error on Mauer. Here's the play in question:
Ortiz didn't agree it was an error, and he let the official scorer know. From the Boston Globe's Julian Benbow:
As Ortiz walked slowly off the field, he stared up at the Fenway Park press box, thumbs down, to let the scorer know how he felt.
“What is he watching?” Ortiz said afterward. “He’s not watching the same ballgame that everybody’s watching, I guess" ...
“People are supposed to have your back at home, and it never happens,” said Ortiz. “It’s always like that. I’ve been here more than a decade and the scorekeepers here are always horrible. This is home, man.”
The notion that the official scorer at home is supposed to have Ortiz's back — while sometimes true, or at least perceived that way — isn't a given. It's not something a ballplayer should expect, then get bent out of shape when it doesn't happen.
Had Ortiz been given a hit, his batting average would have been .250 instead of .246. Though, is he crunching those numbers on the spot? Probably not.
Later in his postgame interview, Ortiz said, "I always look like I am the bad guy, but they always end up changing it." And that very well could happen here. The call could get reversed, Ortiz could get his hit. And then what? He looks like he got his way after whining about a call he didn't agree with him.
It all seems unnecessary. Take the win. Be happy with getting on base. Don't worry too much about getting slighted by the official scorer or even a four-point difference in a June batting average.
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