David Ortiz was sent home Sunday with a respiratory illness on Sunday, meaning he missed the 8-6 loss to arch rivals, the New York Yankees. And, of course, the conspiracy theories were flying. Most suggested that Ortiz was sent home because he didn’t want to play first base, which John Farrell had floated around as an before the All Star Break.
Farrell told the media that he sent David Ortiz home before the first pitch on a doctor’s orders. According to ESPN, John Farrell became aware that Ortiz might not play last night and had checked in with Ortiz via text Saturday night after the team’s win that night, and in person on Sunday morning. When asked if it could impact his availability after the All Star Break, Farrell just said that the team will check on him daily, and that he hoped it wouldn’t.
Now, to the fun stuff: The conspiracy that David was sent home for refusing to play first base. It makes sense from a certain perspective, but I personally find it hard to believe that David Ortiz would have intentionally sat out to avoid playing first. Yes, his ego has become pretty big at times in light of the fact that he played a huge role in bringing Boston 3 World Series titles, but my feeling is that he still wants to help this team get back on track. If he was healthy, I think he most likely would have, at the minimum, kept himself available as a late-game pinch hitter if he didn’t feel comfortable at first for that particular game.
Personally, I have to wonder if this is frustration towards a generally under performing team over the last couple of years getting worse, especially against the Yankees. The Yankees have now won 5 straight series at Fenway Park dating back to last year, per ESPN, which stings for Red Sox fans. Bad enough the team can’t beat our arch rivals at the moment, but to lose 5 home series in a row in 2 years is frustrating beyond belief.
Just a quick note to Red Sox fans: David Ortiz isn’t the guy to look at, at least for this game. The team on the field didn’t get the job done on Sunday, so direct your frustration towards them. If it turns out there is something in the “David wasn’t really sick” theories, then you have every right to be angry at him, but for now, your frustration should be directed at the guys who were actually taking part in the game on Sunday.