Boston slugger David Ortiz reacted angrily to the news that Red Sox pitcher Brandon Workman was suspended for six games and fined an undisclosed amount for throwing behind Evan Longoria’s head during Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Ortiz was upset that Price was not punished, calling the Rays’ pitcher a “punk (expletive, expletive)” for starting the fireworks.
“They started everything up and we have to pay for it, basically. That’s the message I’m getting,” Ortiz told reporters Tuesday before Boston’s game in Cleveland.
Price hit Ortiz in the back with a pitch in the first inning, umpires warned both benches and Boston manager John Farrell was ejected for arguin because Price was not thrown out.
Then, a Price pitch hit Boston’s Mike Carp on the wrist in the fourth inning. Benches emptied, and Ortiz had to be restrained by Rays catcher Jose Molina.
Price again was not ejected. Umpires apparently did not think it was Price’s intent to hit Carp. Acting Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo argued and was tossed.
Price decided to stay out of this latest war of words.
“I’m past it,” Price said Tuesday. “I have nothing else to say. People are going to have enough to say.”
Price previously said he did not mean to hit Carp. He did not admit targeting Ortiz, but told Fox Sports that the Boston star acts like he is “bigger than the game.”
“I’d like to believe if he had a better chance or more opportunity to think about it, he’d respond differently,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “For us it’s a moot point. It’s a dead issue right now. I want us to move it along and just play baseball. It’s unfortunate that it evolved into this war or words, because it’s gotten disappointing.”
Workman’s pitch went behind Longoria, but MLB ruled he was “intentionally throwing a pitch in the head area.”
“The intent of the pitch was so blatantly obvious that it couldn’t go ignored,” Longoria said. “If he would have thrown one right in on my hip and I had to move out of the way or hit me, everything would have been a little different than how it ended up.”
Workman is appealing the suspension and is expected to make his scheduled start Wednesday night against the Cleveland Indians.
Ortiz said Major League Baseball wants to talk with him about the incident. Price said he has not heard from MLB.