David Ortiz defends Rob Manfred amid Astros cheating scandal: 'Let him do his job'


There aren’t many people in baseball as outspoken as David Ortiz. The Boston Red Sox icon held court Thursday and his take on the all-consuming Houston Astros cheating scandal is different than lots of folks these days.

Big Papi is defending commissioner Rob Manfred as the criticism of his decision-making during the Astros scandal has gotten louder and echoed by some of the game’s biggest stars. At the same time, Ortiz also called out Mike Fiers, the former Astros pitcher who blew the whistle to The Athletic on the entire cheating scheme in 2017.

“The commissioner has been getting so much heat like it was him who made that mistake,” Ortiz told reporters. “I don’t agree with him getting all the heat. Reality is, not one player has come through and been like, ‘Hey, it was me who started this up.’ All the commissioner can do it is have a team investigating what’s going on and do what we all know that he knows how to do. The commissioner Manfred has been legit since Day 1.”

Well, that sure is an endorsement.

Players such as Mike Trout and Aaron Judge have spoken out about how Manfred’s punishments weren’t strict enough. Trevor Bauer and Justin Turner have specifically called out Manfred in the past week and offered harsh criticism. Even LeBron James has ripped Manfred.

To that end, Ortiz said everybody needs to “chillax.” Big Papi said he “feels bad” for Manfred.

“I feel bad for him because people are asking questions like he was started the s- - - up. I see players trying to tell him what he needs to do. Hey, he don’t tell you how to hit or how to pitch. So let him do his job. He’s going to do what is best for the game.

“He’s good at making decisions but people need to chillax. People need to let him do his job. Players need to let him do what he thinks is better for the game and for everything else. Stop putting him on the spot and telling him what to do.”

Also during his interview, Ortiz called Fiers a “snitch” and asked, “After you make your money, after you get your ring, you decide to talk about it? Why didn’t you talk about it during the season when it was going on?” Here’s what he had to say about Fiers:

Many people have called out Fiers, including another famous Red Sox star, Pedro Martinez. But we haven’t heard too many people defending Manfred to this end.

Sounds like Big Papi is a good friend to have.

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