, pondering his words carefully during a break in action. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
"Rays Of Our Lives," the ongoing soap opera starring Boston's David Ortiz, Tampa's David Price and MLB's disciplinary committee, just took another dramatic turn, as Ortiz fired some nasty words at Price after a weekend of harsh invective and brawling between the two teams. But before we get into Ortiz's latest comments, a quick recap of how we got here.
- Back on May 26, the Rays and Red Sox started scrapping after Boston players, particularly Jonny Gomes, took exception to the Rays' Yunel Escobar stealing third base in the seventh inning of a game that Tampa was winning by five runs. Shoves were exchanged, feelings were hurt, but ultimately, no discipline came of it.
- Fast forward a week to May 31, as the Rays and Red Sox begin a three-game series in Boston. That night's starter for Tampa, David Price, drills David Ortiz with a pitch in the first inning. The benches clear, umpires hand out warnings to both teams, and manager John Farrell gets ejected for arguing that decision. Worth noting that Price's beef with Ortiz likely stems back to Game 2 of the 2013 ALDS, when Price complained about Ortiz showing him up on a home run.
- Just three innings later, Price once again hits a Boston batter, this time nailing Mike Carp. Despite the warnings previously issued, Price isn't tossed from the game; that prompts an ejection of acting Boston manager Torey Lovullo. In the sixth inning, Red Sox starter Brandon Workman throws behind the Rays' Evan Longoria. That gets him ejected, as well as Lovullo for arguing.
- After the game, Ortiz goes nuclear on Price, calling him "a little b---h" and saying, "I mean, it’s a war. It’s on. Next time he hits me, he better bring the gloves. I have no respect for him no more."
- Price responds the next day with a jab at Ortiz — "Nobody is bigger than the game of baseball and sometimes the way he acts out there, he kind of looks like he's bigger than the game of baseball." — before chastising the Boston slugger for calling their disagreement a war. Price also apologizes for hitting Carp, saying he did so by accident, though he declines to comment on hitting Ortiz.
All caught up now? Good, because there's a new chapter in this rather heated rivalry, courtesy MLB's decision not to suspend Price for hitting Ortiz and Carp. Instead, it's Workman who will get a six-game vacation for throwing behind Longoria, and as you can imagine, that didn't make Ortiz a happy camper.
That's Ortiz before Tuesday's game against the Indians, making it very clear that he and Price aren't the best of friends right now. And depending on how MLB takes his decidedly angry tone toward the Rays' ace, things may get even frostier between the two:
So in sum: David Price escapes a suspension, David Ortiz gets really upset about it, and the Rays-Red Sox rivalry gets turned up another notch. Then again, Tampa probably has bigger issues than an opposing player's beef: The Rays have lost seven straight games and just learned that they'll be without last year's AL Rookie of the Year, Wil Myers
, for at least the next two months