Back when he was a minor leaguer, David Ortiz called his teammates out on poor treatment of a female reporter

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In an article for the Deseret News in Utah, Amy Donaldson recalled a story involving retired slugger David Ortiz. Back in the late 1990’s, Ortiz was in the Twins’ minor league system playing for the Triple-A Salt Lake Buzz. Donaldson had transitioned from news reporting to sports reporting, covering the Buzz.

Clubhouses were — and still are, to some extent — breeding grounds for sexist behavior. With few (and sometimes zero) women around, sexist behavior and comments were rarely called out and dealt with. Behavior that was taught in high school was reinforced in college and through the minor leagues on into the majors.

Donaldson recalls some of the sexist treatment she endured, which included jokes but also dropping their towels on purpose in front of her while she was conducting interviews. She writes, “But, if I’m honest, my most common coping mechanism was ignoring the bad behavior altogether. I focused on my subject with intensity. I asked my questions; I recorded the answers. I did my job as quickly as I could and then later, when I was in the safety of my home, I laughed, cried, complained and sometimes tried to figure out ways to make changes.”

One time, Donaldson was interviewing Ortiz about being a minority player in a predominately white area. Ortiz’s teammates decided to pick on Donaldson during the interview. Donaldson describes what happened next:

I don’t know what happened to the left of us, I just heard the laughing. My eyes stayed locked on Ortiz, who without hesitating, turned to his teammates and sent a message that not only changed some of the behavior, it gave me an idea to prevent this situation.

“Hey, guys,” he said smiling and without raising his voice, “Leave her alone. She’s just trying to do her job.”

Then he turned back to me and continued whatever story he was telling me. No one got mad. No one responded. No one argued. And, not surprisingly, whatever was going on near us, stopped.

Importantly, Donaldson points out, “When men stand up to other men, sexual harassment ends. When women stand up to men, the behavior gets rationalized and we get criticized.” That’s true not just in baseball clubhouses but in the office, the shop, and at home. Kudos to Ortiz for setting an example back when he was in his early 20’s and kudos to Donaldson for sharing the story.

McCutchen’s sacrifice fly lifts Pirates to 5-4 win, extends Athletics’ road losing streak to 15

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PITTSBURGH – Andrew McCutchen’s tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning lifted Pittsburgh to a 5-4 victory over Oakland on Monday night, extending the Pirates’ win streak to six games and sending the Athletics to their record-tying 15th consecutive road loss.

The 15 straight defeats away from home matches the Athletics’ record since they moved from Kansas City in 1968. Oakland set that mark in 1986.

The major league-worst Athletics (12-50) have lost five games in a row overall. They are on pace to finish the season exactly 100 games under .500 at 31-131.

“It’s tough,” Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said. “Tonight’s game, we didn’t play well enough to win the game. I don’t want to say we gave the game away but there were a lot of instances where we had a chance to capitalize on opportunities and didn’t do it.”

McCutchen also singled and drew three walks to go with two RBIs. The 2013 NL MVP now has 1,998 career hits.

With the score tied at 4, Ji Hwan Bae led off the decisive eighth inning with a single off Sam Moll (0-3) and advanced to third on Austin Hedges’ one-out single. McCutchen’s sac fly plated Bae.

“I was just trying to get the job done. I understand the situation there,” McCutchen said. “We just need to get the run. I was trying to bear down against a hard thrower and trying to get that run in as much as I can, and I was able to do it and have a good at-bat.”

Angel Perdomo (1-0) retired both hitters he faced. and Colin Holdeman pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first career save. It was an eventful inning for Holderman as the first three batters reached base, but he struck out Carlos Perez with runners on the corners to end it.

“I began my career as a starting pitcher in the minor leagues but ever since I was switched to relief, this has been the goal, to get a save in the big leagues,” Holderman said.

Pittsburgh starter Johan Oviedo gave up three runs and four hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

Oakland left-hander JP Sears did not allow a hit until Mark Mathias’ leadoff single in the fifth but was unable to make it through the inning. Sears was charged with one run in 4 2/3 innings while allowing two hits, walking five and striking out six.

Sears has not allowed more than two runs in five consecutive starts. His nine no-decisions are the most in the major leagues.

Ryan Noda and Brent Rooker had two hits each for the Athletics.

The Athletics tied the score at 4-4 in the eighth inning on pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz’s run-scoring double. Oakland left the bases loaded, though, when Nick Allen hit an inning-ending flyout.

Consecutive bases-loaded walks keyed a three-run sixth inning that put the Pirates 4-3. McCutchen and Bryan Reynolds each worked bases on balls off Shintaro Fujinami to tie the score at 3-all and pinch-hitter Jack Suwinski followed with a sacrifice fly.

The Athletics opened the scoring in the first inning when rookie Esteury Ruiz reached on catcher’s interference, stole his MLB-leading 30th base of the season and scored on Noda’s single. Seth Brown doubled in a run in the third and came home on Perez’s sacrifice fly to push Oakland’s lead to 3-0.

Connor Joe hit an RBI double for the Pirates in the fifth.

The Pirates drew 10 walks, their most in a game in nearly two years.

“We had a bunch of opportunities that we didn’t capitalize (on), but the thing I think I was most proud of is we got down and we didn’t rush to get back,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “We were still patient.”


Athletics: LHP Kirby Snead (strained shoulder) is expected to pitch in the Arizona Complex League on Tuesday, which will be his first game action since spring training. … RHP Freddy Tarnok (strained shoulder) will throw a bullpen on Tuesday.


Pirates catching prospect Henry Davis was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis from Double-A Altoona. In 41 games at Double-A this season, the 23-year-old hit .284 with 10 home runs and seven stolen bases.

“He was performing offensively at a level where we felt like he was more than ready to meet the challenges,” Pirates general manager Ben Cherington said. “He improved as an offensive player even since spring training, focusing on the things we were challenging him on. Defensively, he’s made strides too.”

Davis was the first overall selection in the 2021 amateur draft from the University of Louisville.


Athletics RHP James Kaprielian (0-6, 8.12 ERA) will make his first start in June after taking the loss in all four starts in May and face RHP Mitch Keller (7-1, 3.25). Keller has eight or more strikeouts in seven consecutive starts, the longest streak by a Pirates pitcher in the modern era (since 1901).