David Ortiz makes a biting opinion about Bobby Valentine in the new autobiography of the retired Boston Red Sox homer, calling his once arrogant, disrespectful, irrational manager, ‘Confused’ ‘and’ ‘aggravating as hell’ ‘.
Valentine was fired after leading the Red Sox and compiling a record of 69-93, to be in last place in 2012, a season that Ortiz called the worst of his career.
In a fragment on SI.com’s “Papi: My Story by David Ortiz and Michael Holley,” Ortiz writes: “The drama started almost immediately in the spring training. I remember fighting the thought, very early, we are going to have an absolutely terrible year.
“It was all about him in the spring. It was as if he wanted to demonstrate how clever he was to execute us through all those exercises that he had used when he conducted in Japan, simulacra that we had never done before. Bobby was in his own bubble, and I just wanted to get him out and say ‘chin …’.
“He asked for many changes, including some that were completely unnecessary. One of the most ridiculous was that the players hit the ground one after another. I thought it was funny, especially for me. The Red Sox did not pay me to hit the ground; I was there to hit balls to the moon. ”
And if spring training was difficult, things would get even worse when the season started. Ortiz writes, “I was competitive enough to think we could win many games despite Bobby’s ego. It did not take me long to realize that I had been too optimistic. And when I say not much, I mean the first series of the season.
“We opened in Detroit and were swept by the Tigers. It was impossible to ignore my colleagues’ comments about Bobby’s management, how he made decisions that made no sense, and how often he was clueless and distant. The next stop on our trip was Toronto. On the flight there, I experienced something for the first time in my career.
“Bobby’s seat was in the middle of the plane, and the players were back. That day was near the front of our section. I remember looking up and seeing a line of my teammates walking towards me. They were angry. They said: ‘We want that cab … to be fired before landing’ ”.
Valentine, who led the New York Mets from 1996 to 2002 and led them to the World Series in 2000, was fired by the Red Sox the day after the 2012 season ended. He was asked about Ortiz’s comments on Thursday at the Tiki and Tierney show on CBS Radio. Valentine told hosts Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney: ” Well, I’d like you to tell me about the hugs you gave me in about three weeks of the season when I saw myself. Yes, that was a strange situation. I do not know how I could have been in spring training, but overall I’ve heard many of those comments. But whatever. I hope he sells a lot of books. I hope it will help you sell some. ”
Valentine, a native of Stamford, Connecticut, is now the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.