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David Ortiz on MLB’s new pace of play rules: ‘It’s bulls–t’

Count David Ortiz among one of the first players to come out in opposition of new rules Major League Baseball will be implementing this season in the interest of improving pace of play.

When asked about specifically about a rule that requires a player to keep one foot in the batter’s box at all times, the Boston Red Sox slugger put his foot down, so to speak. And in colorful terms to boot.

Ortiz first asked “Is that new?” before letting his feelings known in no uncertain terms during a lengthy rant.

“It seems like every rule goes in the pitcher’s favor,” Ortiz argued, via an ESPN report. “After a pitch, you got to stay in the box? One foot? I call that bulls–t.”

Ortiz continue to rail against the new batter’s box rule, saying the time taken out of the box allows the batter to prepare for the next pitch during the chess match that can be an at-bat.

“When you come out of the box, they don’t understand you’re thinking about what the [pitcher] is trying to do. This is not like, you go to the plate with an empty mind. No, no, no. When you see a guy, after a pitch, coming out of the box, he’s not just doing it. Our minds are speeding up.”

While complaining about how it’s unfair players weren’t asked about the changes, Ortiz argued no matter what Major League Baseball tries to do, the game will not be faster as a result.

“It doesn’t matter what they do, the game is not going to speed up,” Ortiz argued. “That’s the bottom line.”

Big Papi continued to rail against the concept, saying he “might run out of money” if he opted to simply pay the $500 fine for every batter’s box violation.

Ortiz then made the observation that the onus is put on hitters to improve the pace of games, not the pitchers.

“How about all the pitchers who go around the mound and do all that bulls—,” Ortiz said. “What about that? Why don’t they tell the pitcher, ‘Throw the pitch and stay on the mound. Don’t move.’

“If they’re going to do it on us, they should do it on the pitchers, too. We’re not the only ones in the game, you know what I’m saying?

“How about the guy on the mound who does this, for three hours,” said a laughing Ortiz as he reportedly mimicked a pitcher shaking off signs. “I say, ‘C’mon man, make a f—ing pitch.’ That count? Nobody talks about that, right?

“I don’t think that’s fair. That’s the bottom line.”

Ortiz certainly made his opinion about the relative fairness of it all more than abundantly clear.

While Big Papi’s at-bat antics certainly do not rise to the level of Mike Hargrove, who became known as the “Human Rain Delay” due to his exasperatingly deliberate and lengthy routine at the plate, he is one of the slower ballplayers in the game, from his time at the plate to his sometimes painfully slow strolls around the bases after hitting a homer.

(photo credit: Matt Stone/Boston Globe)