David Ortiz, the 40-year-old Boston Red Sox slugger, will retire at the end of 2016, wrapping up a legendary career. He'll finish with three World Series rings, over 500 career home runs, and nine all-star appearances. Despite all this, though, Ortiz told Bob Nightengale of USA Today in an interview on Tuesday that the proudest accomplishment of his career was his "conduct, particularly off the field."
This is particularly ironic, because today, Ortiz is going to get lambasted for things he said that have hardly anything to do with baseball.
“I was never trying to be a role model,’’ Ortiz told USA Today. “When I look at role models, they want you to be perfect. Only God is perfect."
A few paragraphs later, Ortiz follows up on his promise to never be a role model when speaking about Commissioner Rob Manfred's expected rulings on the alleged domestic violence incidents of MLB players Jose Reyes, Aroldis Chapman, and Yasiel Puig.
“These are good guys, I feel so bad for them,’’ Ortiz told USA Today. “I know Jose well. Jose is not a trouble maker. He’s a good guy.’’
“We’re not perfect," Ortiz went on."We all make mistakes. That’s no excuse, but people are judging him without knowing everything." Hmm. (A reminder that the rhetorical tactic of grouping all negative actions under the umbrella of imperfection is disingenuous and used to justify all kinds of shitty behavior!)
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.