Bobby Valentine sat down with Bob Costas on Tuesday night to issue some of his first public comments since his ouster as Red Sox manager. The interview came on the same day that the Sox introduced new skipper John Farrell and, as you'd expect, Valentine did not get through it without stirring up some controversy.
The outspoken, and at times mercurial, manager decided to target David Ortiz this time around, stating that the DH packed it in down the stretch. Valentine, in no uncertain terms, said Ortiz gave up once the Sox pulled off that blockbuster trade that shipped Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers. Here's Bobby V from the "Costas Tonight" interview (via the AP):
"David Ortiz came back after spending about six weeks on the disabled list and we thought it was only going to be a week," Valentine said in an interview on Costas Tonight on NBC Sports Network. "He got two hits the first two times up, drove in a couple runs; we were off to the races. Then he realized that this trade meant that we're not going to run this race and we're not even going to finish the race properly and he decided not to play anymore. I think at that time it was all downhill from there."
Valentine had a number of spats with Red Sox veterans during his one season in the dugout, but there had been no real contretemps with Ortiz.
The veteran DH is currently in talks with Boston's front office on a two-year extension and, after these comments, he certainly has to be happy that it's now Farrell, and not Valentine, who will be in the dugout at Fenway next year.