Any sympathy for Papi?

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Any sympathy for Papi?

I'll write more about David Ortiz for tomorrow, but in the meantime wanted to express one somewhat surprising emotion: Sympathy.

I feel bad for him.

Not in an "Ohhh, poor Papi. He gets paid 14.5 million dollars to swing a baseball bat" kind of way, because that side of the story is ridiculous. It's beyond frustrating. It makes Ortiz look like a total fraud.

I mean, how can you throw a tantrum at the notion that you're not a leader, yet continuously pull crap like this? Not only is it hypocritical, but it's psychotic. You can't have it both ways.
If you're a leader, you lead. You swallow your pride, make peace with reality and stop bitching about things that only affect you. If you don't, you don't.

Honestly, what's the benefit of complaining about a 14.5M contract? Do you think fans will sympathize with that? Or that Larry Lucchino called Ben Cherington this afternoon and said: "Hey, so I just read David's interview in The USA Today, and you know what . . . I think he has a point. We've totally mishandled this situation. Get his agent on the phone."

It's enough already.

And obviously, that's not why I feel bad.

I feel bad for Ortiz because, regardless of whether he's right to feel the way he does, this whole contract situation has turned him into a pretty miserable dude. It's chewed up one of the happiest, most fun-loving and beloved athletes in Boston history, and spit out a guy who can't even let fans celebrate his 400th home run before airing another round of played out grievances. It's like every time something good happens, Vincent Ludwig triggers a chip in Big Papi's brain: "I must bitch . . . about my contract . . . I must bitch . . . about my contract . . ." It's out of control.

And it's really too bad, because not only was it a lot of fun cheering for the old David Ortiz, but I always imagined it was a lot of fun being the old David Ortiz. And for one reason or another, that guy no longer exists.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

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Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

The Red Sox look to end their three-game losing streak tonight when the play the middle game of their three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.

Against Royals' left-hander Danny Duffy (11-1, 2.66 ERA), the Red Sox start right-handed hitters Chris Young in left field and Aaron Hill at third base. Duffy has won his past 10 decisions and came into Saturday with the fifth-best ERA in the American League. He joined the rotation from the bullpen on June 1.

Left-hander David Price (12-8, 4.00) gets the start for the Red Sox. Price has won his past three decisions, going eight, six and eight innings and not allowing more than three runs in each start. 

The Royals won the series opener 6-3 Friday night.

The lineups:

ROYALS
Paulo Orlando CF
Cheslor Cuthbert 3B
Lorenzo Cain RF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Salvador Perez C
Alex Gordon LF
Alcides Escobar SS
Christian Colon 2B
---
Danny Duffy LHP

RED SOX
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Sandy Leon C
Chris Young LF
Aaron Hill 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
---
David Price LHP

Quotes, notes and stars: Betts has first career five-hit night

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Quotes, notes and stars: Betts has first career five-hit night

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals

QUOTES:

"We continually do a great job in creating opportunities and I'm confident that (the struggles with men in scoring position) will turn.'' - John Farrell

"When you start off with a five-run spot in the first, that's a tough deficit to overcome.'' - Steven Wright.

"That's how it goes sometimes. Sometimes, we score when we're not expecting to and then when we need to score, sometimes it doesn't happen.'' - Mookie Betts on the team going 4-for-15 with RISP.

 

NOTES:

* The loss was just the third in the last 13 series openers for the Red Sox.

* The game marked the first time in 20 home games in which the Sox never led.

* Boston was 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

* The first four hitters in the order were 13-for-19 (.684). The fifth-through-nine hitters, however, were just 2-for-21 (.095).

* Mookie Betts (five hits) leads the majors with 55 multi-hit games.

* Dustin Pedroia has reached base in each of his last eight plate appearances.

* David Ortiz's double was the 625th of his career, passing Hank Aaron to move into 10 place in MLB history.

* Ortiz leads the A.L. in doubles (41) and extra-base hits (72).

 

STARS:

1) Eric Hosmer

Hosmer cranked a three-run homer into the Monster Seats four batters into the game, and the Royals were off and running with a five-run inning.

2) Ian Kennedy

The Royals starter wasn't dominant, allowing nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, but he bailed himself out of a number of jams and limited the Sox to just two runs.

3) Mookie Betts

Betts had his first career five-hit night and knocked in two of the three Red Sox runs, though he also got himself picked off first base.