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October 9, 2009

David Ortiz


MATT McKENDRY: Questions for David Ortiz.

Q. When you were struggling early in the season, what did Dave Magadan do to help you? I understand you guys had some conversations and he pointed a few things out maybe about what other pitchers were doing to you?
DAVID ORTIZ: No, Dave, he just, he's the hitting coach. He just tried to, you know, keep his eyes on you and make sure you go back to the bases, which you normally do, but sometimes it's hard for him to comment onto that on me. But he, you know, he pretty much I agree with a lot of things that he had to say. And he just all just click at once.

Q. As a follow-up to that, Francona said that he told you at one point stop, don't worry about your stats. Stop looking at them. Don't look at your batting average. Don't look at any of it. Did you take that advice? Did you really do that? And if so, how did that help?
DAVID ORTIZ: No, I didn't (laughing). It's on the board every day. No way you're going to stop looking at it.
No, but I know about Terry. He just wants to make sure that Terry's the one guy that he always makes sure that he gives you a little reminder about things, you know. He knows it was hard for me to just not be able to do things like I normally do.
But the good thing about the whole situation was that he was just trying to make me calm down and throwing things around.

Q. Can you describe anything about the character of this Red Sox team that makes you feel good about it even down one game?
DAVID ORTIZ: Well, you know, we are troopers. We just fight back. We don't really care about being like we were yesterday, 0-0 or whatever happened in the past. Being down by one, you know. This series isn't over until it's over.
We just know how to feel things out and fights back, you know. It's like I tell you guys always, doesn't matter what we did in the past against these guys. They have a good team. We really need to focus on that and come out and play.

Q. You've played with Jason Varitek for a while now. How strange is it for you guys to not see him on the field at this point of the season and what has he continued to mean for this team?
DAVID ORTIZ: Well, you know, Jason is on our captain, man. Jason's been here for years. I personally -- it's kind of weird I see him behind the plate, you know. But we've got Victor coming in doing a good job, making our lineup better.
So, you know, it's a tough situation for Tek, Victor, Terry, the team. I don't know. I can't really tell you how the pitchers feel because I'm not a pitcher, obviously. But I guess I don't have too much of an answer for that. But it looks different when he's not out there playing like I've been watching in the past 7, 8 years.

Q. When you guys played the Angels in Boston three weeks ago, Torii Hunter challenged his teammates not to play scared against you guys. What was your reaction when you heard that and have you seen any reaction from that?
DAVID ORTIZ: That's him. That's Torii. I know Torii since we were babies. And Torii is the guy that he grew up tough. He learned how to play the game tough. He got the football mentality, like everybody's saying.
I have seen him snap like that before, believe me, tons of times. And every team needs a guy like that. Every team needs a guy that push some others. Even when he's up, you know, you can see him all pumped up and going crazy out there just to get everybody going. And I think that's big.
In game ball that's -- when you have a whole bunch of good players that see bad results and the guys come out like that, I think just nothing but positive things are happening, you know.
I'm just going to try to put some tape on his mouth so he don't have to keep on pointing this guy don't play good (laughing). Torii, he's a great guy, man. He's a good player. I think it was a great addition to Anaheim Angels. Him and Bobby, they make a huge difference.

Q. Last week Detroit's Miguel Cabrera made news in part because he went out socializing with the players from the White Sox, and in part because of a domestic incident. Leaving the domestic incident on out of it, you're very popular and you have lots of friends on other teams. Do you have a philosophy about socializing with players from other teams when your team is playing them? And does it change at all if it's a critical series?
DAVID ORTIZ: To me it doesn't change. I want to beat your ass when I'm out there, believe me (smiling). Being a good person, being a good human being doesn't change anything. Now when you're closing down, you've got to do what you've got to do.
I think what happened to Cabrera is something that can happen to anyone. But I don't think it change his mentality, because that's one of the guys as soon as he steps on the plate, he wants to change the whole game right away.
So I don't think, you know, if you have the mentality of not having friend, that's your problem. If you've got the mentality of that will change your game, that's your problem, too.
But I think my situation, I think I've got a lot of respect from everyone. Like I respect everyone. I think people realize what kind of person you are. It's just not the baseball player that comes and plays the game and goes home. You have things after you stop playing baseball, you go home and nobody notice.
I think being connected to some other people, and even sometimes you get some good credibility. You get to talk to people. You get to learn things from people. You let people know how things work.
You know, I have personally, I help a lot of young kids over the league. They always come and ask me questions about the game. About situations. Just like I did when I was coming up. I don't feel like they're taking anything away from me, and I don't feel like I'm wasting my time telling them anything. I just feel like the game gets better, you know. That's what people want to see. The game getting better.

Q. What impresses you most about a couple of your young starting pitchers, Lester and Buchholz? What impresses you with those guys?
DAVID ORTIZ: You know, I think a lot of those guys they have great talent. But I believe there's players with talent just like them that they go to team that winning or losing means the same to them, and their talent never gets to be exposure.
So I think these guys with the great talent that they have plus coming to this organization, seeing that everybody got the winning thing on their face, I think that helps them out even more. That's why they came to be the top players in the league at a young age.
I remember when I first saw Lester coming in. Tito was telling me he about his talent, and I said, okay, we'll see. And next thing you know the guy came to be the aces in games. But I believe it was just the way we play, we push here. Just like I was saying before about Torii. A lot of players need that. A lot of players need the impact from some of the players.

Q. In a way do you take more pride in what you were able to do this season than some of your other best seasons just because of everything that you went through this year?
DAVID ORTIZ: Well, I guess everybody knows that it's not an easy game to play. You know, I always through the years, you know, I always keep on telling you guys it doesn't matter how good things look. It just always going to be a hard game to play. That's the way I see it. Even on your best day you can go 0 for 5. Even when you feel so strong, you give up 7 runs in two innings. That's something that you can never forget about.
Now, the same way I say that to you guys is the same way I tell you guys that, you know, this game isn't how you start. You've got to wait until the last day and then you can say whatever you want to say or criticize players or do whatever you want to do. You know, this is a long season, and things happen for a reason.
I tell you, this might be one of the seasons that I learned the most about the game than ever. I'm the kind of guy that I take things with me and analyze it in the off-season, and go through it and try to get the best benefit out of it.
I tell you, this time I still don't know what happened the first two months. But one thing I tell you, I figured things out at one point. It wasn't even that I was trying to do something different, because I try everything. I tell you, I tried everything. I was about to start hitting right handed just to see if things change. But I just went back to the bases and act like I used to do when I played little league. Just come to the field. Try to hit the ball and that's it. And that's when things started clicking back. It's not a game that you just wake up and hit. You've got to go through fundamentals and things like that. That's how you're going to get your benefit back.
MATT McKENDRY: Thank you, David.

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