Red Sox: David Ortiz’s feud with Alex Rodriguez cools off


The bad blood between Red Sox slugger David Ortiz and Yankees star Alex Rodriguez appears to be fizzling out after they spoke for the first time in 2 years.

It seems that David Ortiz is using his farewell tour to extinguish any ongoing feuds that have developed over his 19 years in the majors.

On his first day in Fort Myers this spring the Boston Red Sox DH made amends with new teammate David Price, who he had engaged in a heated war of words with in years past. Now he’s putting his differences aside with another rival, this time one that still wears enemy pinstripes.

According to a report from ESPN’s Scott Lauber, Ortiz spoke with Alex Rodriguez for the first time in over two years when the veterans ran into each other in the batting cage at JetBlue Park prior to Boston’s 6-3 loss to the New York Yankees in a spring training game Tuesday.

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Rodriguez confirmed that the conversation took place when he was asked about reaching out before Ortiz retires at the end of the upcoming season. The Yankees star went on to say that he’s happy for his division rival, signifying that there are no hard feelings bottled up on his end.

Perhaps there never was any animosity, at least as far as A-Rod was concerned. The bad blood between them revolved around Big Papi’s anger toward Rodriguez. The two of them were close friends back in the days when they came up through the Seattle Mariners organization together in the mid-90’s, but their relationship soured when Rodriguez’s lawyer threw Ortiz under the bus during a conversation about performance enhancing drugs.

"“I’m not going to start naming all the other players, but some of them are God-like in Boston right now,” Joseph Tacopina told ESPN radio in January 2014."

Tacopina would later insist that his comments weren’t referring directly to Ortiz, but the damage had already been done. Ortiz’s character had been called into question ever since his name appeared on a list leaked in 2009 that exposed players that failed what was supposed to be a confidential drug-testing survey in 2003, prior to Major League Baseball’s current testing program.

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Despite that we never learned what substance Ortiz allegedly took, public perception leaped to the conclusion that he was a cheater. Years later it was A-Rod’s lawyer dragging him back into the spotlight by pointing fingers in an attempt to deflect attention away from his client, which Ortiz took great offense to. He held Rodriguez responsible for the actions of his representative, casting his former friend aside and refusing to speak with him ever since.

Until now. With Ortiz’s career winding down it seems that he’s more willing to patch things up, admitting that he is now at peace with Rodriguez.

"“I have always gotten along with everyone,” Ortiz said in a Spanish-language interview on ESPN Deportes. “I’ve never harmed anybody, not even those who have tried to do me harm. It’s not my problem. I will always love and respect Alex, because that is who I am, that’s in my nature. I’m a big bear. I give affection to everyone.”"

The relationship between the two superstars deteriorated over words that never should have been spoken publicly, but now they have hugged it out like a couple of frat bros, so it’s all good now. Maybe they won’t be planning any spring break trips together anytime soon, but they are at least at the point of being civil toward one another.

Ortiz wants to enjoy his final season without the burden of any drama dragging him down, which is why he’s letting go of old grudges. When he rides off into the sunset at the end of the season he’ll leave this game in peace.

Next: Prediction: Encarnacion will fill Ortiz's shoes in 2017

With any luck he’ll leave with one more World Series ring too.