David Ortiz: Former manager Bobby Valentine was ‘aggravating as hell, arrogant and disrespectful’

David Ortiz, left, does not have high praise for former Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.
(Maddie Meyer / Getty Images; Jeff Gross / Getty Images)
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Retired Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz had a frustrating season in 2012, and not just because of the injury to his right Achilles tendon that kept him sidelined for much of the year.

In a Sports Illustrated excerpt from his new book, “Papi,” Ortiz says the source of frustration for him and many of his teammates during that 69-win season was new manager Bobby Valentine, whom the Red Sox legend describes as “aggravating as hell, arrogant and disrespectful.”

And that’s not even the half of it.

“The drama began almost immediately in spring training. I remember fighting the thought, very early, We’re going to have an absolutely terrible year,” Ortiz wrote. “It was all about him in the spring. It was as if he wanted to prove how smart he was by running us through all these drills he’d used while managing in Japan, drills we had never done before. Bobby was in his own bubble, and I just wanted to get him out of it and tell him, ‘... you.’”


Valentine was fired by the Red Sox at the end of the 2012 season, but Ortiz wrote that several of his teammates wanted it to happen much earlier than that. Ortiz said that after the Red Sox were swept by Detroit in the first series of the season, he had to stop a group of angry players who wanted Valentine’s head — figuratively and possibly literally.

“I didn’t know what they might have done if they had gotten to him, but I felt it was way too early in the season for that kind of takeover,” Ortiz wrote. “He was aggravating as hell, arrogant and disrespectful, but I felt that we needed to try our best to support him.”

Ortiz said he tried to play through pain that year and attempted to come back from the Achilles injury early, only to make it worse and end up missing the rest of the season. He also described watching a TV interview with Valentine soon after the manager lost his job.

“I watched the whole thing and was shocked when I saw him tell [Bob] Costas that I had quit on him and the Red Sox,” Ortiz wrote. “All season long I was the one who had defended him, who had tried to have his back, even when it was an unpopular stance to take as far as my teammates were concerned. But it was the right thing to do, and now he had the [guts] to go on national TV and suggest that I quit?

“Days later, he tried to call me and apologize. I didn’t want to hear it.”

Valentine responded to some of Ortiz’s comments Thursday on the “Tiki and Tierney Show.”

“Well, I wish he told me three weeks into the season instead of hugging me all the time when he saw me,” Valentine said. “Yeah, that was a weird situation. I don’t know how it could have been about me in spring training, but I’ve heard a lot of those general comments.”


He added: “But whatever. I hope he sells a lot of books. I hope I help him sell some.”

Twitter: @chewkiii