Boston Red Sox

On Papi's angry answers

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On Papi's angry answers

Thanks to the Celtics, I'm just getting caught up on this David Ortiz story.

If you missed it, last night after the Sox comeback win Ortiz was asked about the player's only meeting that he called last week. One in which he allegedly addressed the pitching staff not carrying its weight (resisting fat joke), and has in some ways been credited for the Sox recent turn around.

His response, as they say in the Dominican, was absolutely ridiculous.

"Let me tell you, I was reading an article that talked about the leaders people call 'leaders' in this town," Ortiz said. "Basically, it seems like no matter what you do, it's not good enough ...And you can only call leaders the guys who are out diving for balls on the field or calling pitches behind the plate?"

He continued: "I don't get no respect. Not from the media. Not from the front office. What I do is never the right thing. It's always hiding, for somebody to find out."

Yikes, Davey. And he wasn't done there, but nothing else he said really expounded on the basic point. Essentially, that Ortiz doesn't think he gets enough credit not from the fans, the media or the front office for being a leader in the Sox clubhouse because most of his work is done behind the scenes and he doesn't care who finds out.

Now obviously his reasoning is a little flawed. What Papi said pretty much amounts to making an anonymous donation and then getting pissed when the guy who signed his check gets all the attention. But whatever, I don't want to pick on Ortiz. The guy's had a great season, and I'm sure this fact has only heightened his aggravation over not getting that long term deal. And after all, it's not really up to me or anyone else to judge who the leaders are on that team.

I'm obviously not in the clubhouse, and even the guys who are don't get to see what really goes on. I'm sure they hear stories, and pick up pieces here and there, but no one knows exactly how much Ortiz means and has meant to that team behind the scenes except for the players and coaches who are actually there.

But for the sake of conversation, here are three reasons that despite how long he's been around and how much he's accomplished between the lines I've never really considered David Ortiz to be a great leader inside that clubhouse.

1. He's spent the last few years publicly bitching mid-season about the lack of a long term deal.

2. Last season, he barged into his manager's press conference to cry about the disappearance of one RBI.

3. Last October, in the aftermath of one of the worst collapses in baseball history, Ortiz said this about playing in Boston: "There's too much drama, man. There's too much drama. I have been thinking about a lot of things. I don't know if I want to be part of this drama for next year."

Now, I could be wrong. And the fact that he did call that player's only meeting, and that it seems to have garnered a pretty significant response, suggests that I am. That we are. That maybe the fans, the media and the entire organization is sleeping on how much positivity Ortiz creates behind the scenes.

But even if his clandestine leadership tactics deserve more respect, there's no question that his leadership in the public arena has repeatedly come up short.

Like the time when he was asked about calling a team meeting that may have helped turn around the season, and turned into sob story about no one in the world respects him.

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

Red Sox move closer to AL East title with 5-0 win over Reds

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Red Sox move closer to AL East title with 5-0 win over Reds

CINCINNATI - Mitch Moreland ended his long slump with a three-run homer, Eduardo Rodriguez pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning, and the Boston Red Sox took another step toward a second straight AL East title, beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on Saturday.

Boston has won 13 of 16, holding off the Yankees as it tries to win back-to-back East titles for the first time since divisional realignment in 1969. The Red Sox have their best record of the season at 90-64, reaching 90 wins for the second year in a row.

They remain four games in front of the Yankees, who beat Toronto 5-1.

Moreland was in an 0-for-19 slump when he connected off Robert Stephenson (5-6) in the sixth inning, his 20th homer of the season but only his second in September. The Red Sox are last in the AL with 160 homers.

Rodriguez (6-6) has given up two or fewer earned runs in each of his last four starts, the best stretch of his career. The left-hander gave up three singles and two walks in 7 2/3 innings, his longest outing since May 21.

The Red Sox have shutout victories in three of their last four games, including two at Baltimore. They are 7-1 on a trip that ends Sunday. Boston wraps up the regular season at Fenway Park with three games against Toronto and four against Houston.

Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who grew up in suburban Madeira and had hundreds of relatives and friends in the stands for the series, singled home a run in the seventh at the ballpark where he regularly attended games as a youth.

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Betts (foot), Pedroia (knee) out of Red Sox lineup

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Betts (foot), Pedroia (knee) out of Red Sox lineup

Mookie Betts, who fouled a ball off his left foot Friday night, and Dustin Pedroia, who has been bothered by a knee injury almost all season, were out of the Red Sox lineup Saturday against the Reds in Cincinnati.

Chris Young started in right field for Betts and Brock Holt at second base for Pedroia.

Betts was scratched from the original lineup but was a late scratch. Pedroia, who had been getting intermittent days off to rest his knee was originally expected to play but needed treatement and hopes to be able to play Sunday, according to Scott Lauber of ESPN. 

Manager John Farrell told reporters, including Christopher Smith of MassLive.com, that Betts "was hindered by it last night in the second half of that game. [He] woke up a little bit more sore. Went through treatment. But felt it was best to give him a day to fully recover and get some additional treatment."

The manager added that Betts was available to pinch hit Saturday and did not have X-rays, but that step could be taken if there's no improvement in the next 24 hours.