ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer insists he isn’t mad at David Ortiz.
A day after Ortiz slung his bat and leisurely trotted around the bases following a home run off him, Archer had more thoughts about Big Papi’s style.
“I never saw Hank Aaron flip his bat,” Archer said Monday. “I’m not comparing the two, but they’re obviously in the same class of players as far what they accomplished.”
“I guess different people have different ways of reacting. That’s just who he is,” he said,
After the Rays’ 3-2 loss, Archer reiterated remarks made earlier this year by teammate David Price that the Boston slugger thinks he is bigger than the game.
“Do I regret saying the truth? No,” Archer said. “Agitated is not right word. Angry is not the right word. He pimped a home run off me. Not mad, just speak the truth.”
Archer watched the flight of the ball and didn’t see Ortiz’s reaction until later viewing video.
While talking with reporters before Monday night’s game against Milwaukee, Archer saw a report about the Ortiz homer on a nearby clubhouse TV, and jokingly yelled he was mad.
Rays manager Joe Maddon had a thought on the Ortiz show.
“The simple answer is, what if it had happened in the ’60s when (Bob) Gibson was pitching, or (Don) Drysdale was pitching?” Maddon said. “That answers the question.”
The Red Sox and Rays will meet again for the start of a four-game series Aug. 29 at Tampa Bay.
“I’m proud that our guys have said what they feel,” Maddon said. “I dig that a lot, actually. We’ll see how it all plays out.”