Ortiz understands anger, urges patience

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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.

McAdam: Red Sox at a loss after excruciating defeat

McAdam: Red Sox at a loss after excruciating defeat

There are still two full months of games left on the schedule and who knows what might happen in that time, or what else might befall the Red Sox.

But for now, it's no stretch to suggest that Thursday's excruciating 2-1 setback in Anaheim constitutes the worst loss of the season to date. The point hardly seems debatable.

Consider:

THE TIMING: This was the start of the longest, and in many ways, most challenging road trip of the season, with 11 games in 11 days. It comes immediately after a homestand that was highly disappointing, featuring a mere split with the last-place Minnesota Twins and a sweep at the hands of the otherwise mediocre Detroit Tigers.

There's been a great deal of attention focused on how many road games the Sox have to play through the rest of the season. Winning the opener -- and snapping a three-game losing streak in the process - would have felt like a strong statement that the club was ready and able to meet the challenges of the schedule.

THE STARTING PITCHER: The loss wiped out a standout performance by David Price, who may well hold the key to whether the Red Sox grab a playoff spot this fall.

Price has been woefully inconsistent in his first season with the Red Sox, alternating between brief stretches of dominance and periods of underwhelming outings.

For a change Thursday night, Price seemed on the verge of winning one of those "statement'' games, when he would make one measly run in the third inning stand up. There have been too many times, given his standing as the team's No. 1 starter, in which Price has pitched just well enough to lose -- like the pitcher's duels in which he came up short against the likes of Madison Bumgarner and Chris Tillman.

But on Thursday, Price didn't buckle. And never mind that he was matched against an aging and depleted Jered Weaver. Price had next-to-nothing with which to work, but he protected the 1-0 lead with a determination he has seldon shown in Boston.

And for his effort to go wasted sets an inauspicious marker for this demanding trip. There was something symbolic about having Price set the tone at the start with a low-scoring, must-have game.

He did his part. Unfortunately for Price, that wasn't enough.

THE WAY IN WHICH IT HAPPENED: Walk-off losses are never pleasant, whether they come on a homer, or a base hit up the middle.

But considering that the Red Sox had the ability to turn Daniel Nava's tapper to first into a game-ending double play, and instead, saw it result in a two-run throwing error on the part of Hanley Ramirez, makes it all the more crushing.

Brad Ziegler, who gave up a go-ahead game-winning homer in the final game of the homestand Wednesday, essentially did his job in the ninth. He got Mike Trout to hit a chopper, which resulted in an infield single. And he kept the ball on the ground and in the infield, with the Sox bringing the infield in with the bases loaded and one out.

Better execution, and the Red Sox walk away with a thrilling 1-0 victory to begin their West Coast trek. Instead, they walk off the field, heads down, with the wrong precedent being set.