Ortiz understands anger, urges patience


Ortiz understands anger, urges patience

BOSTON David Ortiz gets it. He understands why Red Sox fans are angry, and why some might be wearing brown paper bags over their heads.

I always do, he said of understanding fans ire. Trust me, I always do. Thats why when were playing like this I have problem catching up on my sleep, man, because we got the best fans all the way. All the way around the world we got the best fans.

We got to start playing better. Youre going to see the paper bags as long as we play like expletive. Well start playing better. We have to. We got to figure the way.

Ortiz was involved in a minor car accident around 3:00 on Boylston Street near Fenway Park. His car hit another with a woman and young girl inside, he said. There were no injuries and he had not thought of not playing tonight.

His thoughts are on getting this team righted.

We got to start playing better, he said. Its a long season but Im one of the guys that believes that we got to start winning from the very beginning so you dont have to live with the pressure towards the end of the season.

To me its always time running. Not like youre running out of time but time runs and well catch up.

Asked if he paid attention to the brouhaha caused by Josh Becketts golf outing, Ortiz chalked it up to:

Things that we got to fix on our own. Nobody need to know about it. So players, we got to fix our own things and go about the business and make sure that things are done the right way.

Much of the fans anger recently has been directed at Beckett, who was pounded by the Indians in Thursdays 8-3 loss and played golf two days before he was skipped in a start because of a sore right lat muscle. While Ortiz can understand the fans sentiments, he also feels for his teammates.

Of course, of course, but its going to get better, he said.

Is everyone in the clubhouse on the same page?

It doesnt seem like it but we are, he said. Were going, like I say, were going to try to come out with a better attitude and play the games better.

Which implies that some players dont have the best attitudes.

I think some of the guys are not looking at things positive and trying to do some things different, he said. Its not going to happen from day to night but it happens regardless. Good thing is about the whole situation is we have 130-plus games left and can change things around pretty fast, pretty quick.

Cant control others attitudes. Got to go about the business my best way and I think were going to be alright.

Asked if he is trying to take on more of a leadership role with the retirements of Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek before the season, Ortiz replied:

I always do I just dont show it too much, but I always do what I got to do. I dont do things for people to say that I do it. I do it for the benefit of this organization and the benefit of us, all of us, playing better and winning games.

Ortiz, like many, is perplexed by the teams 12-19 record, especially its 4-11 record at Fenway. The Sox have lost eight of nine in May, and have lost 11 of the last 12 at home since April 16.

Its crazy, he said. Its crazy. I see it and I dont believe it. As long as Ive been here were looking at Fenway like a powerhouse. And everybody just come in and whipping our butts here. So got to do something about it.

Asked if he thought a trade might help shake the team up, Ortiz said:

No, I dont think so. Well be fine.

NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945


NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton KershawAnthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.