Ortiz: 'I like to be the underdog'

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Ortiz: 'I like to be the underdog'

We're used to hearing the Red Sox put spin on things.

"Run prevention" ring a bell?

What about anything ownership has ever said about the team?

Well, now they're pushing the underdog card, and it looks like David Ortiz is buying into it as well.

"I like it because, one, that's motivation," Ortiz said to Jessica Moran and Sean McAdam on CSNNE's The Baseball Show. "And No. 2, you're pretty much under the radar. You slowly start digging and digging, and the next thing you know you're in the playoffs. So I like to be the underdog."

But it won't be easy to make the playoffs with some teams getting a lot better over the offseason, including the Toronto Blue Jays, or as Ortiz called them, the "Dominican Blue Jays", after a number of offseason acquisitions including Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera.

The Sox may be underdogs, but the Jays aren't, and Ortiz has a bit of advice for them now that the spotlight is on them.

Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.