A-Rod and Big Papi Kissed and Made Up on Tuesday, Ending Two-Year Spat
Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz go way back. They first became friends back in the mid-1990s, when both were youngsters coming up in the Seattle Mariners organization. And even when they found themselves on opposite sides of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, the two remained close…until two years ago, when A-Rod’s lawyer went and publicly accused Big Papi of abusing PEDs.
Back in January of 2014, when MLB was throwing the book at A-Rod for being a no-good dirty cheat, his lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, went on ESPN Radio to offer up a classic “But Everyone Else Does It Too It’s Not Fair!” defense for his client. And in the process he threw Ortiz under the steroid bus.
“I’m not going to start naming all the other players,” the Tacopina said, “but some of them are God-like in Boston right now.”
There was no doubt who the lawyer was talking about. The Red Sox had just won the 2013 World Series thanks to Ortiz hitting an other-worldly .688/.760/1.19 with two homers, two doubles, six RBI, and eight walks.
Of course, Tacopina later insisted that he wasn’t talking about Ortiz. But nobody on earth believed him, Especially Ortiz, who from that point out refused to say a single word to a man who used to be his friend.
Now, though, it seems A-Rod and Big Papi might have begun burying the hatchet. According to Rodriguez, the two ran into each other in the batting cage prior to the Yankees-Red Sox spring training game on Tuesday, embraced, and had a brief conversation.
Ironically, Ortiz actually spoke to ESPN Deportes about his strained relationship with A-Rod earlier on Tuesday.
“I have always gotten along with everyone,” Ortiz told Marly Rivera in Spanish. “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. I have always been the one to reach out first,” Ortiz said. “I have always been the first one to extend my hand, every single time.”
Apparently A-Rod took that as a sign that Ortiz was ready to forgive. So he made the first move and was rewarded with one of them Big Papi bear hugs.
“I love Big Papi,” Rodriguez said after the meeting. “I have a lot of respect for him. I think he’s been an incredible ambassador for the game. I’m looking forward to him leaving the game at a height—and for him to leave the game. He’s crushed us over the years.”
Hat Tip – [ESPN]