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Monday, June 23, 2014
Scorer grants David Ortiz single

By Gordon Edes
ESPNBoston.com

SEATTLE -- Five days after Fenway Park official scorer Bob Ellis ruled that David Ortiz had reached safely on an error by Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer, prompting an on-field outburst from the Boston Red Sox designated hitter, the Red Sox announced Ellis reversed himself and gave Ortiz credit for a single.

Ellis did so before MLB exercised its normal protocol for reviewing a scorer's decision.

Ortiz said Monday that he was satisfied with the decision but said he was "not comfortable" with how the situation blew up into a mini-tempest, with MLB executive vice president Joe Torre issuing a statement Friday chastising the Sox slugger for his conduct.

"I don't want people to think every time I come up with something, I'm showing somebody up," Ortiz said Monday afternoon. "I owe an apology to MLB, Joe Torre, even the scorekeeper."

On Wednesday afternoon in Fenway Park, Ortiz, batting with one out in the seventh inning of a scoreless game, hit a two-hop smash to the right of Mauer at first. Mauer knocked the ball down but could not keep it in his glove, the ball trickling a few feet away as Ortiz reached first without a play being made. Ellis scored it an error, and at the end of the inning, Ortiz could be seen yelling at the press box as he left the field, making a thumbs-down gesture. He continued yelling from the dugout.

Ortiz came up to the plate again in the 10th inning and hit a game-tying home run. He was followed one batter later by Mike Napoli, who hit a walk-off home run in Boston's 2-1 win. Afterward, Ortiz was asked about his actions.

"I thought people were supposed to have your back at home, and it never happens," he said. "It's always like that. I've been here for more than a decade, and the scorekeepers here are always horrible. This is home, man."

Ortiz said Monday his comments were borne of frustration.

"I'm not the type of person that likes to complain," he said. "I'm an emotional guy, and whenever you see me come out like that, there's some history behind it. I don't do it just to do it.

"Bottom line, man, there's been a lot of frustration this year, you know? When you're in a situation you're grinding and get a hit, then things like that happen [the play being scored an error], and then the questions come, that's where the frustration comes popping out.

"It shouldn't be like that. I understand that. That's why I feel like I've got to apologize for things coming out that way."

Torre released a statement Friday in which he admonished Ortiz.

"Official scorers have a job to do, and by their very nature, their decisions don't make everyone happy," Torre said in his statement. "But everyone in our game deserves respect. I hope that David will meet that standard going forward, because I don't share the same views that he expressed.

"Official scorers should never give any benefit of the doubt to the home team. We want their best judgment, based on the rules. We have a process to review the decisions that our scorers make. Even when there are inevitable disagreements, we expect everybody to act professionally and respect the game and the integrity of our scorers."

Ortiz said Torre did not speak with him before issuing his statement.

"I understand," Ortiz said. "I get it. I understand his point. Hopefully he understands mine, too. We are a family. I wasn't trying to say I need to be protected, that something that wasn't mine should be. My point was about the knowledge of the situation. In my case, when it goes against me, when I complain, it turns out I'm right. That's my frustration."

This is the second time this season that a scoring decision has been changed in Ortiz's favor. A ball that fell between two Texas players May 9 in Arlington while Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish had a no-hitter in progress was originally scored an error. The call, after being reviewed by MLB, was credited to Ortiz as a hit.

"I know the scorekeeper is trying to do his job," Ortiz said. "It's easy down here to criticize their job. Hopefully, I don't have to face the same situation because to be honest I wasn't comfortable with the whole thing. People talking about it for a week. Every time I say something, I'm the bad guy.

"You're not going to make people happy. They criticize me because I'm not hitting .300, then criticize me because I'm complaining I didn't get [credited with] a hit. People, you've got to understand, if you want me to do my job, you've got to let me do my thing. I'm not taking something that's not part of me. It's part of what I do. It's not personal with anybody."