Earlier this week David Ortiz lashed out at critics, calling them “disrespectful” for questioning whether his struggles this season are a sign of permanent decline. Wednesday he was benched against a left-handed pitcher by Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Reporters in the clubhouse described Ortiz as being predictably unhappy with the benching, but here’s all he’d say when asked:
I’m not playing today. That’s all. I don’t know what to tell you. I’m just not playing, that’s it. That’s something you’ve got to ask the manager. I’m not the manager here. I’m just a player, and I do what I get to be told. John told me yesterday I’m not playing today, so I’m here.
Within his overall struggles this season Ortiz has actually managed good production versus right-handed pitchers, but he’s hit just .114 with 14 strikeouts and zero walks versus lefties. Farrell indicated that he likely won’t be a one-day thing.
Ortiz being upset is understandable given that he’s been an everyday player for 15 years and has generally fared well against lefties, but it’s also understandable that Farrell would give some time off to a 39-year-old hitting .114 off same-sided pitchers.