David Ortiz is creating some bad press for himself when it comes to the new MLB rules based on pace of play. Ortiz spoke to reporters on Wednesday (Feb. 25) about it, likely causing baseball commissioner Rob Manfred to take notice. According to a report from ESPN, it seems he is not keen on following any of the new rules that pertain to batters.
Speaking at Spring Training in Florida, Ortiz began by stating, “It doesn’t matter what they do, the game is not going to speed up. That’s the bottom line. When you argue for a pitch and they got to review it, that takes some time. Is that our fault? No. It’s their fault. But we still got to play the game.” He wasn’t done there, though, as reporters asked specifically how he would deal with it and the possible fines for not following the new rules.
Ortiz stated that, “Well, I might run out of money. I’m serious. I’m not going to change my game. I don’t care what they say. My game, it’s not like I go around and do all kinds of stupid s—. But I have to take my time and think about what that [pitcher] is going to do next. I’m pretty sure every single hitter at this level is on the same page.” He isn’t winning any friends in the front offices of Major League Baseball with comments like that one.
It had previously been reported on ESPN that several changes were being put into place to help speed up games that had become exceedingly long. That included shortening the time between innings, keeping managers in the dugout when deciding whether to challenge a call, and keeping hitters in the box. Between pitches, a hitter has to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box, possibly removing some of the routines that players have grown accustomed to doing over the years.
It is pretty common knowledge that Ortiz is one of those players that likes to step out of the batter’s box any chance he gets. He will adjust his uniform, his batting gloves, and take half-swings preparing for the next pitch. He also has a habit of spitting into his hands to presumably help with his grip. Forcing a player like him to stay in the box could certainly throw him off if he doesn’t grow accustomed to the changes.
Basically David Ortiz has just called out the baseball commissioner and the rules committee. It’s worth noting that Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner was an instrumental committee member in getting these changes put in place. It could be interesting to see what he has to say when social media picks up on what Ortiz has said. It could also be interesting to see fans react to the first player really vocally condemning these new rules.