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.

MLB ump saves woman attempting to jump from Pittsburgh bridge

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MLB ump saves woman attempting to jump from Pittsburgh bridge

PITTSBURGH -- John Tumpane can't explain why he approached the woman as she hopped over the railing of the Roberto Clemente Bridge on Wednesday afternoon.

The woman told Tumpane she just wanted to get a better view of the Allegheny River below. The look on her face and the tone of her voice suggested otherwise to Tumpane, a major league baseball umpire in town to work the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays.

So the 34-year-old Tumpane reached for the woman even as she urged him to let her go.

"It was just pure instinct," Tumpane said . "You hear kind of stories of this all the time, different scenarios, people aiding and situation where I was lucky enough to be there to help and try to think of everything I could do, hanging on to her. At times she wanted to go the other way. I was like, 'not on my watch, please.' We were just hanging on."

And saving a life.

Tumpane secured one of her arms. A bystander walked up and grabbed the other while another -- Mike Weinman, an employee for the Rays -- clutched her legs and pinned them to the railing while Tumpane mouthed to someone in the crowd to call 911.

What followed were chaotic moments of panic, fear and ultimately, grace.

"I couldn't tell you how long we were waiting for everyone else to get in place," Tumpane said. 'Obviously another power comes into be when you're hanging on and you know what the alternative is of you letting go and not having other people to help you."

Tumpane, Weinman and the third volunteer clung to the unidentified woman until emergency responders arrived. A police boat raced up the river to the iconic yellow bridge named for the Pirates Hall of Famer who died on Dec. 31, 1972, when a plane making humanitarian deliveries to earthquake victims in Nicaragua crashed. Now, 45 years later a crowd thrust together by fate brought a complete stranger back from the brink. Together.

"Once they were able to secure her, we were able to talk her back to help us out and we got her back on this side," Tumpane said. "After that I went up to her, she said, 'You'll just forget me after this' and I said, 'No, I'll never forget you.' This was an unbelievable day and I'm glad to say she can have another day with us and I'm glad I was in the right place at the right time."

Tumpane, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, got into umpiring as a teenager, made his major-league debut in 2012 and received his full-time MLB commission in 2016, stressed he's no hero.

"I just happened to be there," he said. "I think I've been a caring person in my life. I saw somebody in need, and it looked like a situation to obviously insert myself and help out."

The aftermath was a bit surreal. After the woman was taken away, Tumpane called his wife, his arms still shaking.

"Not too many times you call your wife and say you helped save somebody's life," he said. "A really special moment."

One that stayed with him even as he prepared to call balls and strikes behind home plate Wednesday night. During breaks in the action his eyes would drift to the bridge just a few hundred feet behind the center field wall at PNC Park.

"It's also hard when you stand back behind home plate and look and you see the bridge in the distance, In between innings and whatnot, just thinking of how things could have maybe been," he said. "Glad it was this way."

Tumpane has no experience in crisis management or suicide prevention. He's spent 16 years living the nomadic life of an umpire. Asked what was going through his head while he tried to coax the woman back to safety, Tumpane just shrugged his shoulders. How do you explain the unexplainable?

"I happened to be in the right spot at the right time," he said. "Tried to be as comforting as I could and talk her through it. Thankfully that was the outcome."