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Thursday, June 9, 2011
David Ortiz responds to Joe Girardi

ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- David Ortiz on Wednesday night had a message for New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who had said he didn't care for the way the Boston Red Sox slugger had flipped his bat after hitting a home run Tuesday: "Take it like a man."

Ortiz was in no mood to revisit the flap stirred the previous night by Girardi, who made his comments after the designated hitter took Yankees rookie Hector Noesi deep in Boston's win.

He crushed another home run Wednesday night in the first inning off Yankees starter A.J. Burnett, then set his bat down on the ground gently. He saved the fireworks for after the game, which the Red Sox won 11-6.

Ortiz I don't care what Joe Girardi says. Take it like a man. I'm done with that.

-- David Ortiz on Girardi's reaction to his bat flip

"I don't care what Joe Girardi says," Ortiz said to a New York writer. "Take it like a man. I'm done with that."

Ortiz said he did not flip his bat Wednesday so he could avoid being on the "national news."

"I don't want to have you guys asking me the same questions. I got almost 370 bombs in the big leagues and everybody wants to make a big deal because I bat-flip one of them. (Expletive) that (expletive), man. If I have to make that video on my (expletive), let's see how many bat flips I got on this (expletive). Good night."

The first-place Red Sox will try for the series sweep over the second-place Yankees in the Bronx Thursday night.

Ortiz has hit 364 home runs in his career. Thirty-four have come against the Yankees, a total against one opponent exceeded only by the 39 he has hit against Toronto. And that doesn't count the five home runs he has hit against the Yankees in the postseason, including one of the most dramatic in club history -- the 12th-inning walkoff home run in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS.

Ortiz has homered in each of the team's past three games against the Yankees, all at Yankee Stadium. The last Red Sox player to hit home runs in three straight games in the Bronx was Mo Vaughn, back in 1994, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The last Boston player to hit home runs in three straight games against the Yankees, home and away, was Manny Ramirez in 2006.

On Tuesday night, he had been amused more than upset when asked about it.

"I mean, it's not my first time, it's not going to be my last time," Ortiz said of the way he airmailed his bat. "Big deal. I enjoy the game. I'm a home run hitter. It's not like I do it all the time. It's part of the excitement, you know what I mean? What can I tell you?"

For his part, Girardi also downplayed his comment, suggesting before Wednesday's game that the media had given it a "Full Monty" treatment he hadn't intended. Nor did he believe Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester hitting two Yankees batters Tuesday night -- Mark Teixeira and Russell Martin -- was an invitation for the Yankees to engage in any retaliatory target practice.

"I didn't hear our guys talk about it at all,'' Girardi said. "It seems like it's been talked about more in the media than our guys. I didn't hear anything about our guys being upset."

Red Sox manager Terry Francona thought it all much ado about nothing. Asked if he'd ever been rankled by the actions of an opposing hitter the way Girardi had been rankled by Ortiz, Francona said: "What's rankled? My pants are rankled."

"I don't think I get too upset with stuff. I personally choose to hope we win a game and expend my energy doing that. Dave's a big boy, he can handle himself. I actually didn't even notice."

Information from ESPNdeportes.com reporter Adry Torres and ESPNBoston.com Red Sox writer Gordon Edes was used in this report.