"All I’ve got to tell you is I’ve got 17 years in the league, and I don’t think I deserve to be disrespected like that," Ortiz said after a 7-3 Sox win over Baltimore. "If you want to get respect from the players, you respect the players. That was horrible. Both of the pitches, not one. These people been semi-intentionally walking me all night, I don’t mind going to first base so what was the reason you’ve got to call pitches like that a strike?’’
Dustin Pedroia, talking nearby on the bench, leaned away and put his head in a towel to protect himself as the bat shattered on Ortiz's powerful hacks.
“I didn’t hit anybody," Ortiz said. "I know what I was swinging at. I’ve got good eyes, bro.’’
The bat in pieces, Ortiz stormed up the dugout steps closest to home plate and on to the field, but didn't get far when manager John Farrell intercepted him, as did bench coach Torey Lovullo.
Your browser does not support iframes."He or Jon Rauch," Farrell said, alluding to his time as Blue Jays manager when he had to restrain Rauch, a very tall reliever in 2011. "I've picked the two wrong guys to try to restrain from umpires. There was a difference of opinion."
Ortiz tried to push past Farrell — and his manager gave some ground against the huge slugger — before Ortiz retreated to the dugout steps. His last act as he descended was to throw his right elbow guard toward, but short of, Timmons behind the plate.
It was at that point that Pedroia grabbed Ortiz, trying to calm him down.
“He just doesn’t want me to go crazy because he thinks it could get worse," Ortiz said. "But that was horrible. It was horrible. People always focus on when we snap. We’re not snapping everyday out there, there’s a reason why we snap. You always look like the bad guy – I’m not a bad guy, I’m trying to do my job. You don’t take my at-bat away from me like that.’’
In a six-pitch at-bat with one out and no one on in the seventh inning, Ortiz struck out swinging with a full count against Orioles reliever Jairo Ascencio. But it was the pitch two tosses before on, 3-0, that prompted the madness. Timmons called a fastball that appeared high a strike for strike one as Ortiz stepped out of the box very early, perhaps presuming he was being pitched around — recall his sentiment that the O's were "semi-intentionally walking me all night."
The next pitch, a change-up, was closer, but nonetheless could have been outside and was called strike two. Ortiz fanned on the next pitch.
“It was a ball that if the catcher let it go, it would have hit (Timmons) in the face," Ortiz said of pitch No. 4. "The funny thing is he wanted to act like it was the right call. No, I don’t play that. I don’t pitch, I don’t play defense, I hit. You’re not going to take my at-bat away from me. Period."
The fact that Timmons didn't show any acknowledgment he might have gotten the call wrong particularly bothered Ortiz.
“When I was walking away I was telling him he was acting like he wanted to be right about the call," Ortiz said. "No you weren’t, you weren’t right, the whole planet saw you weren’t right. So don’t be giving me that b------. If you miss it, just tell me ‘I missed it’ and I’ll walk away, I have no problem with that. You’re not perfect, you’re human, but don’t try to act like it was the right call. It was ball four."
Ortiz used Saturday night's Sox starter, Ryan Dempster, as an example of how Timmons could have handled the matter more to his liking.
“Dempster threw a pitch right down the middle," Ortiz said. "He was mad because that was strike three on (Manny) Machado. When Dempster was walking off, he told Dempster ‘I missed it.’ And what did he do? He just walked to the dugout, ‘Ok, fine, you missed it.’ Who cares. But if you want to tell me it was a good pitch, I don’t agree.’’
When Ortiz was walking back to the dugout and barking at Timmons — he had not been tossed at this point — he turned and gestured with his hand up to his helmet to show how high he thought the pitch was.
Boston led 7-2 at the time of the incident. Ortiz finished Saturday 0-for-2 with a pair of walks.
The night was already odd before Ortiz lost it. Stephen Drew scored on what was ruled an inside-the-park home run — before Sox manager John Farrell argued the ball actually left the park. The umpires agreed, and Drew's home run was turned into, well, a home run.
"Is it a full moon here tonight?" Farrell said. "It seems like it."
The 3-0 pitch in question for Ortiz appeared to be high, per the image at this link on BrooksBaseball.net. The highest red dot is the one in question.