Red Sox slugger David Ortiz went out of his way to complain about a scoring decision last Wednesday after a ball that he hit to Twins first baseman Joe Mauer was ruled as an error instead of a single. This led to MLB executive vice president Joe Torre issuing a strongly-worded statement in response to Ortiz, basically telling him to show some respect and professionalism. Well, in the latest (and hopefully the last) twist in this story, official scorer Bob Ellis changed his call today and awarded him a hit.
While Ortiz got his wish in the long run, there’s little doubt that he went about the entire thing in the absolute worst way. That’s why he issued a public apology while talking to reporters prior to tonight’s game against the Mariners. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald has part of his comments:
“All I have to say is I know I owe an apology to MLB, Mr. Joe Torre, even the scorekeeping guys,” Ortiz said before the Red Sox opened their three-game series against the Mariners. “I know that I had frustration come out that way, and that’s not what you really want. You don’t want things to be like that and everything. But this has been a season already that has been jam-packed with frustration. At the end of the day, our job is based on results. I sit down and watch that TV every night after the game and I go 0-for-4, and all people talk and bitch about is why I’m not hitting .300. We are a family that of course needs to protect each other. The whole week has been about me protecting over a hit. There’s a lot of people mad at me because I argued something that I didn’t think I should get. I don’t blame them. I’m not apologizing just because I got that result. It’s because the message was spread out based on frustration. That’s why I’m apologizing.”
For what it’s worth, the Red Sox were planning to appeal the call on behalf of Ortiz, but Ellis changed the ruling before they had a chance to do so.
The Athletics have hired former MLB manager Matt Williams, the team announced Friday. Williams will take over third base coaching duties under manager Bob Melvin, filling the vacancy left by Nationals’ bench coach Chip Hale after the 2017 season.
Williams is no stranger to the Bay Area, but this will be his first time sporting the green and gold. He got his start in pro ball with the rival Giants in 1987, where he manned third base and collected four All-Star nominations before jumping ship to the American League in 1997. After a one-year stint in the Indians’ organization, he returned to the NL to finish off his 17-season career and eventually hung up his cleats with the Diamondbacks in 2003.
Post-retirement, Williams has crafted a resume that almost over-qualifies him for a coaching gig. He led the Nationals to a cumulative 179-145 record from 2014 to 2015 and earned props as NL Manager of the Year after bringing the team to a first-place finish in 2014. In 2016, he split the season as a first and third base coach in the D-backs’ organization, then accepted a studio analyst position with the Giants for the 2017 season. Although he has yet to suit up for the Athletics in any role, he’s not unfamiliar with skipper Bob Melvin. The two were teammates on the Giants’ 1987-88 roster and spent some time in Arizona together when Melvin took a coaching job there in the early 2000s.
While next year’s reunion will be fun to watch (unless, I suppose, you’re a Giants fan with a long memory), Williams may not have his sights set on a coaching role forever. As the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea reported back in July, the 51-year-old knows what it feels like to win as a manager, and it’s a position he might be open to pursuing in the future.
“For me, my most comfortable space is in uniform,” he told Shea. “I’ve done the ownership thing and front-office stuff, and that’s fun. The most gratification I get is swinging a fungo and throwing batting practice and being on the field. It’s what you know and love. I look at myself as a teacher first and foremost. At the end of the day, I think that’s how I have my greatest influence.”