Major League Baseball executive vice president Joe Torre heard all the complaining he was going to hear from Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz after he let loose on an official scorer following Wednesday's game at Fenway Park. On Friday, Torre released a statement not only defending the scorers decision during the game, but urging Ortiz to show more respect for official scorers moving forward.
"Official scorers have a job to do, and by their very nature, their decisions don't make everyone happy. But everyone in our game deserves respect. I hope that David will meet that standard going forward, because I don't share the same views that he expressed.
"Official scorers should never give any benefit of the doubt to the home team. We want their best judgment, based on the rules. We have a process to review the decisions that our scorers make. Even when there are inevitable disagreements, we expect everybody to act professionally and respect the game and the integrity of our scorers."
Ortiz has never been afraid to speak his mind or show his emotions when he feels it's warranted, and Wednesday was obviously one of those occasions. Despite hitting a game-tying home in the 10th inning of Boston's thrilling 2-1 victory, Ortiz couldn't focus on anything other than the official scorer charging Minnesota first baseman Joe Mauer with an error on a difficult fielding chance rather than crediting Ortiz with a hit in the seventh inning.
Here's what Ortiz had to say, courtesy of the Boston Globe:
“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.”
But it's not just the Fenway scorers that irk Ortiz. Earlier this season, Ortiz expressed displeasure with the Texas Rangers official scorer following Yu Darvish's near no-hitter against Boston. Originally, an error was charged to outfielder Alex Rios on a pop fly that dropped between Rios and infielder Rougned Odor. There was a miscommunication on the play and neither touched the ball before it dropped, so Ortiz felt like he deserved a hit on the play.
Ortiz, who later singled clean with the two outs in the ninth inning, even appeared on MLB Network following the game to make his case for having two hits. After review, MLB agreed and officially changed the scoring. But a bad taste was left in the league's mouth at that point because of Ortiz's outward complaints.
It's one thing to feel a decision is incorrect. It's another to express those feelings Ortiz has. At one point on Wednesday he even directed a thumbs down in the scorer's direction. There are better ways to approach it that, as Torre put it, are more respectful and professional, including conferring directly with the league.
That's really what it comes down to, and the official scorers are no different than the umpires on the field or the fans. All should be treated with respect. Ortiz came up short this time around, but hopefully he'll heed Torre's words and take a better approach going forward.
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