|Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets|
Entering Thursday’s game, the Red Sox had won four games in a row, but that hasn’t stopped some of the players to continue their crusade against the media.
It all started earlier this week when ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Red Sox clubhouse is “toxic,” and “the unhappiness that exists among Boston players and staff is multi-layered and deep.”
Josh Beckett, David Ortiz, Bobby Valentine and others harshly denounced Olney’s report on Tuesday, but discussion about this so-called “toxic” clubhouse has still not gone away.
Ortiz did little to put the notion to rest on Thursday.
Asked if he was having fun this season, Ortiz said “not really.”
“Too much sh*t, man. People need to leave us alone and let us play baseball,” Ortiz said before Thursday’s game.
Ortiz elaborated on his feelings when he was asked about his lack of a multi-year deal, which is like pouring thousands of gallons of gasoline onto a wildfire.
“I don’t know, man, I’m just tired of dealing with the drama here. This is baseball, man,” Ortiz said. “We’re supposed to have fun, to have our performance out there at the highest level. every day is something new, some drama, some more sh*t. I’m tired of that, man. I’m here to play baseball, man.”
Ortiz, clearly directing his anger at the media, later lashed out.
“It’s starting to become the sh*t-hole it used to be,” Ortiz said. “Playing here used to be so much fun.”
Oh, boy. While he may regret that remark, it’s clear that Ortiz is desperately trying to express that the problem isn’t inside the clubhouse – it’s with the media members that cover the team.
The premise is simple: if the media members stop caring about this notion of a “toxic” Red Sox clubhouse, then the drama and the issues will die down and everyone will be happy. It doesn’t really work that way, unfortunately.
But, Ortiz is onto something. Disappointed with his contract situation and now pissed off at the media coverage, Ortiz has been on an absolute mission this season. He’s on pace to hit 43 HRs in what would be his finest season since he hit 54 home runs in 2006.
He’s leading by example in sharpening his focus (using his anger at the media as motivation), and Sox fans can only hope his focus is contagious.