Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 5/22/12


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"I don't get no respect," he said. "Not from the media. Not from the front office. What I do is never the right thing. It's always hiding, for somebody to find out."

Though he did not mention it, it still stings Ortiz that the Red Sox were unwilling to sign him to a two-year contract extension, instead coming to an agreement on a one-year, $14.75 million deal just prior to an arbitration hearing.

Ortiz also said he was criticized for not calling a meeting earlier.

"Somebody wrote, 'Why didn't he do it earlier?' Earlier? When am I going to do it, in spring training? What did I do wrong? Seriously, what did I do wrong?

"You hit 54 home runs, then hit 35, it's not good enough. How many people hit 35? Never good enough, bro. That's why I don't care.

"What I care about is the respect of my teammates, the [expletives] who know that we need to play the game better, worry about what we got to do, and that's about it. They respect that. We talked and then we go about our business afterward. I don't care about anything else."

ESPNBoston | David Ortiz blasts naysayers

Tell us how you really feel, Papi.

I don't blame him, though. It must get pretty old to, on top of losing, constantly hear about how your team is so unlikeable. And Ortiz continues to produce despite how old he's gotten. 

Now, he's a big boy, and he makes $15 million, so I don't want to hear that he's going through some kind of travesty. But you can see that it's irked him over time that he never seems to get that extra year of security from the Red Sox.

And he's obviously been a pillar of the team. I've argued many times: It's perfectly fine with me to be sentimental about this guy. Overpay him, give him the extra year. He's such an important part of the fan experience in the past decade. And now his career is getting on near the end -- he hit home run 388 last night on an absolute moonshot to right. He's 12 away from 400 (nice math, Scott), and 64 away from catching Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time list. I'm enjoying watching him reach these milestones, and I'd hate to see him doing it putzing around with the Blue Jays and Indians.

Obviously, it's foolish to worry too much about his future right now. For the present, he's helped the team get to .500, and he does deserve a little respect. He's keeping them afloat, and it looks like they just might get back into playoff contention if they can avoid too many injuries.

That said...on page 2, what do we do about that outfield?

Carl Crawford (wrist, elbow), Jacoby Ellsbury (shoulder), Darnell McDonald (oblique), Jason Repko (shoulder), Ryan Kalish (shoulder), and Ross are all hurt.

Added to that is Ryan Sweeney, who hasn’t played since suffering a concussion on a great catch Saturday.

It’s getting harder and harder to replace them.

“It’s a situation where we don’t have much of a choice,’’ said David Ortiz after the Red Sox’ 8-6 victory Monday night. “I heard about Cody before the game and, man, so many things we have to get through. These are things you have to deal with. And we’re gonna deal with them.’’

Che-Hseun Lin, fresh from Pawtucket, started in right field Monday. Veteran Scott Podsednik, who was purchased from the Phillies May 12, is with the PawSox with a June out clause. There are also career minor leaguers Josh Kroeger (Pawtucket) and Juan Carlos Linares (Portland).

Globe | Ground to cover in outfield 

Oof.

The Sox continue to have no luck in the health department. Ross is down for a couple months; Ryan Sweeney may go on the 7-day DL after he failed a concussion test. Those of us who are Bruins fans all know about the difficulties of coming back from concussions.

So what do we do?

Fellow Ted's Army writer Ben Fountain and I discussed it a bit on Twitter last night, though I can't say we reached any kind of consensus. There's a groundswell of support for moving Adrian Gonzalez to right or left (depending on the park) so we can keep Middlebrooks in the lineup and slot Youk back at 1st. While I understand the argument, we have to remember: this isn't some short-term fix we're looking for.

Cody Ross is out two months. Ben Cherington yesterday suggested Jacoby Ellsbury could return by early July, Carl Crawford by mid-July, though neither is on any particular timetable. So it's not like we need to find some way to tread water for a few days -- we're looking at six weeks here.

I'm not of the mind that Middlebrooks has to remain with the big club. It's fine if he does, and he certainly has played well. But he shouldn't unseat Youk, and I'm too risk averse to think Youk or Gonzalez could handle full-time duty in the outfield. We're just asking for more injuries that way.

Some have suggested bringing up Jose Iglesias and sliding Aviles to the outfield, but you still end up with the same Youkilis/Gonzalez/Middlebrooks quandary. It's going to be hard enough to tell Middlebrooks to go back to Pawtucket; can you imagine doing it and recalling another prospect who's worse than him?

Obviously, the easiest solution is to trade Youk, but that's not going to happen until he shows he can still hit (which he can), so we can get something for him. Until then, our best move is probably to bring up the guys who can play defense, and cross our fingers that Daniel Nava keeps getting on base at a .500 clip. In other words: Get ready for more Che Hsuan Lin, and a little dash of Scott Podsednik thrown in.

ESPNBoston | David Ortiz keys rally as Red Sox overtake Orioles | Despite injuries, Sox don't come up short | Cody Ross has broken bone in foot | Herald | Ailing Sox stage rally to beat Orioles | David Ortiz leads by example | Injuries open third door | Globe | Win in Baltimore helps Sox even the score | Broken foot shelves Ross | CSNNE | Sox offense comes through, bullpen holds off O's in 8-6 win | Sweeney could hit seven-day DL after failing concussion test

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