Former Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has expressed annoyance over remarks by retired Boston slugger David Ortiz in his book “Papi: My Story.’’ Ortiz used the words “arrogant,’’ “disrespectful,’’ “irrational’’ and “clueless’’ in describing Valentine, who was fired after the Red Sox finished last in 2012.
Ortiz said Valentine put the team through spring training drills that he had employed while managing in Japan. “Bobby was in his own bubble,’’ Ortiz wrote, “and I just wanted to get him out of it and tell him [expletive].’’
Excerpts of the book, written with Michael Holley, appear on sportsillustrated.com. Holley did not return a call seeking comment.
After the Red Sox were swept in Detroit in the first week of the season, Ortiz wrote, “It was impossible to ignore the comments from my teammates about Bobby’s managing, how he made decisions that didn’t make sense and how generally clueless and distant he was.’’
Former Mets manager Valentine, now the athletic director at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, said by phone, “I did try to put in a new wrinkle to a practice and spring training, no doubt about that. I guess if those were his words and feelings about what he thought about me, the impression he got of me, that’s at least true to what he believed. I didn’t think it was a radical major thing. If that was his takeaway, a book about what spring training 2012 was like, the book will be a dud.’’
Valentine thinks Ortiz became angry at him because of an interview the manager gave at the end of the season. “He got all upset with me at the end,’’ Valentine said. “I did an interview and someone went to him and said that I said he quit on the team. When I went back and spoke to [host] Peter Gammons and the people on the panel and said, ‘Did I say that?’ they said, ‘You didn’t even come close to saying that.’ He still decided to be the spokesperson for the Bobby Valentine hate club.’’
Gammons said in a phone interview that Valentine never told him that Ortiz had quit on the team during that broadcast “or at any other time.’’
Valentine added, “Spring training 2012 with the Boston Red Sox was not about me. Maybe he had a chance to tell it in a book and this is just the way to get people to read the chapter. He had the year that he had to have in order to save his career. Somehow that got lost in the shuffle. He went on to play [four] more years and probably get entry to the Hall of Fame, so it couldn’t have been that bad of a year.’’
Valentine said he was never contacted for his side of the story. A publicity department employee for publisher Houghton Mifflin said, “Since it’s an autobiography/memoir, generally no,’’ persons mentioned in the book are not contacted. “If it was a biography written by someone else other than David himself, that would probably be more the case. But since it’s David’s own memories and it’s his own story, it’s not something that we fact-check per se.’’