During yesterday’s Red Sox-Twins game, David Ortiz hit a ball sharply which went to the right of Joe Mauer down at first. The ball bounced off Mauer’s glove and rolled a few feet away. Often times — maybe most of the time — hot shots like that are called hits. Sometimes they’re called errors. Here the official scorer called it an error.
Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports that, after the inning was over, Ortiz “could be seen yelling at the press box, making a thumbs-down motion several times to indicate his displeasure with the call.” After the game, Ortiz had this to say:
“I thought people were supposed to have your back at home, and it never happens,” he said. “It’s always like that. I’ve been here for more than a decade and the scorekeepers here are always horrible. This is home, man. I always look like the bad guy, but they always end up changing it.”
They end up changing it, David, because you issue formal protests when a lot of guys of your stature would let it go. But let’s leave that aside for a moment.
Let’s instead focus of the pettiness of a guy with a Hall of Fame resume throwing a little temper tantrum over a scoring call that will matter not one iota in the course of this season let alone his career. In a game in which he came through in the clutch with a tenth inning home run which tied the game. Even if you allow for spontaneous frustration at the time of the scoring decision, you’d think that’d wash away after a game in which he played a key part in a heroic victory.
But nope. Instead he’s whining about a judgment call. Specifically, he’s whining that he didn’t get some hometown advantage on a judgment call. That’s about the weakest sauce.
Edes, in his story, notes that Ortiz is not the first guy to get mad about official scorers calls like this. Lots of guys do. Edes gives a long example of Giants first baseman Will Clark doing so back in the day. Which, yes, does show that even superstars get upset like this sometimes.
But it’s also worth noting that Clark, by the accounts of most people who played with him and covered him, was kind of a jackass.