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Former Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine on Tuesday said slugger David Ortizsidelined himself after a brief return from an Achilles injury -- not because of soreness but because the team made a blockbuster deal that sealed their playoff fate.
"He realized that this trade meant that we're not going to run this race and we're not even going to finish the race properly and he decided not to play anymore," Valentine said in an interview airing Tuesday night on "Costas Tonight" on NBC Sports Network. "I think at that time it was all downhill from there."
"It's unfortunate that Bobby would be putting blame on David for the way this season has ended," said Fernando Cuza, Ortiz's agent. "Nothing could be further from the truth. David was having his best season since 2007 and has been one of the most durable players in the game. Based on the advice of the team doctor and his own doctor, resting and therapy was recommended for a complete recovery from this injury.
"David loves to play this game and has never quit on any one, and most important of all on this team that means so much to him. He has been a leader on this on the team and is disappointed in Bobby's remarks."
ESPNBoston | Bobby V critical of David Ortiz
It's fitting with this franchise that on a day where we should be focused fully on moving forward, Bobby V had to come out and stir up some drama.
I would not be at all surprised if Valentine is somewhat telling the truth...but I don't see the problem with it. The Sox were dead in the water. What's the point of Ortiz coming back and risking anything for that last five weeks? So we could finish the year with 71 wins instead of 69? I doubt Ortiz refused to play, but I'm pretty sure members of the organization got together and decided this.
And the organization made the right decision in having him sit. Of course, Bobby objects to the organization being involved at all (the Herald account of this notes that Valentine complained that Ben Cherington or one of his flunkies were constantly bothering Bobby about managerial concerns).
Bobby V was a disaster from beginning to end. Hopefully things will go better with Farrell. They can't go worse.
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