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Tuesday, May 22, 2012
What Ortiz was talking about last night

By Gordon Edes

BALTIMORE -- Some have wondered, in the aftermath of David Ortiz calling out those who have failed to acknowledge his leadership ability, what set him off, given that he has drawn mostly favorable coverage for having called a team meeting on May 11, just before the team won 9 of its next 11 games.

Ortiz on Monday night cited an article he said had been written by Tony Massarotti, the Boston.com columnist and co-host of the 98.5 The Sports Hub radio show “Felger and Mazz.’’ In a check of Massarotti’s columns for the newspaper website, Massarotti had not written in recent weeks about the Red Sox slugger, but it appears Ortiz may have been referring to this summation of comments made by Michael Felger and Massarotti on their radio show.

The headline read: "Felger & Mazz: Ortiz Steps Up At Team Meeting -- What Took So Long?" That article appeared on the CBS local website at 3:54 p.m., before Monday night’s game with the Orioles. Ortiz made his comments to ESPNBoston.com after the game.

The article read, in part: “What took so long for a player, like David Ortiz, to step up? Both Felger & Mazz felt like it was a long time coming and that the team could have benefited from a meeting like this back in September.”

Linked to the article was an audio clip in which Massarotti, who several years ago wrote a book in collaboration with Ortiz, responds to Felger’s suggestion that Ortiz should have called a meeting last September.

“I feel the same way,’’ Massarotti said. “But he was the right guy. I have always wondered whether or not he would really do this sort of thing. He‘s always been more the kind to put his arm around someone, pull them aside, ‘Hey what’s bothering you.’ Very empathetic, sympathetic, calm. He’s not the kind of guy to start flipping stuff over. If in this one he was pissed off? Good. Someone in there needed to get pissed off a long time ago.”

Red Sox players and former manager Terry Francona have said that a number of meetings were held during September’s 7-20 collapse. Ortiz appears to have been directly responding to that criticism here when he said, "Somebody wrote, 'Why didn't he do it earlier?' Earlier? When am I going to do it, in spring training? What did I do wrong? Seriously, what did I do wrong?’’