So many suspensions! One hardly knows where to start!
I’ll start with Big Papi, then. Yes, it’s pretty obvious that Jerry Meals blew the call on the checked swing. You know, it’s not like the pitchers need any extra help these days. But there are still some things you’re not supposed to say, and some things you’re not supposed to do.
You know, like get physical with an umpire.
You get suspended for things like that, and so Papi’s been suspended for ... wait for it ... ONE WHOLE GAME.
Hey, these things are fairly well proscribed by the CBA and precedent, and it’s not like Ortiz slugged anybody. But his intent, however subconscious, was clearly to intimidate an official with his size and his strength. Which is of course wholly inappropriate. However poor the call, however quick the ejection.
All of which would have been interesting, to a point. But it got a lot more interesting when Jim Palmer mixed things up a little:
Well, somebody brought Palmer to Papi's attention. It didn't go well (or it went exceptionally well, depending on your outlook) ...
“That’s how he wants to get respect from us? Is that how he wants me to respect him? It’s not going to happen,” Ortiz said rather angrily at his locker.
ESPN.com’s Gordon Edes asked Ortiz after Monday’s game whether he ever had any issues with Palmer in the past. “No, actually I thought that he was one of my guys,” Ortiz said. “All of a sudden now he’s killing me, huh? I guess anybody who wants to get famous or make some noise comes to Papi, right?” The Red Sox travel to Baltimore later this week for a three-game set starting Friday. Perhaps Ortiz will cool down by then, but one probably shouldn’t expect him and Palmer to sit down for dinner.
First, we have NO IDEA what Ortiz was actually responding to. Did he actually scroll through Palmer’s Twitter feed? Maybe!*
* but probably not
I do enjoy this notion that if you’re not one of Papi’s guys then you’ve obviously got some sort of character defect. It’s quite possible that without his outsized public ego, David Ortiz wouldn’t have his outsized performance. And a public spat with a Hall of Fame pitcher who happens to work for a division rival is certainly entertaining. But Ortiz’s petulance does make me wish, just a little, that he’d been suspended for two games rather than one. Just on principle.