The acrimony between David Ortiz, the recently retired Red Sox star, and the Twins, his first team, has been well chronicled over the years. But in his new memoir, which is being released today, Ortiz goes after former Twins manager Tom Kelly and the front office anew for the way he was treated during his time in Minnesota from 1997 until his release after the 2002 season.
His thoughts about the Twins are part of a review by Sports Illustrated's Jack Dickey.
"(A) characteristic of superior athlete tell-alls is the presence of a large chip on the memoirist’s shoulder," Dickey writes.
On Kelly, Ortiz writes: “I know he’s recognized as a good baseball man, but he struck me as a guy who believed his players were dumb ..." and then Ortiz used an expletive he commonly sprinkled through the book. "There was a game where Kelly thought the team was too sloppy, so he ordered the players onto the field after the game. Come on. It’s major league baseball. I’d never seen anyone do that before, and I haven’t seen anyone do it since.”
He also attributed his light hitting and lack of power during his Twins years -- a .266 average and 58 home runs in 455 games over six seasons -- to what Ortiz saw as Kelly's fondness for slap hitters in the Metrodome. Ortiz said he tried to make the manager happy "for a couple of years and became the biggest slap hitter you’ll ever see.”
Ortiz also thought the Twins treated him poorly by releasing him one month after his wedding in December 2002. "I thought it was a trashy way to do business, and I couldn’t help thinking they’d done it on purpose,” he writes.
His roster spot was filled by a shortstop, Jose Morban, taken from Texas in the Rule 5 draft. Morban was released by the Twins and only appeared briefly in the majors, with 77 at-bats and a .141 average with Baltimore in 2003.
To read the full review, in which Ortiz is also quoted saying he is the most underpaid player in Red Sox history, click here.
To read an excerpt from the book, click here.
And just so you know the tone of what you're about to read, the headline of the Boston Globe's review of the book: "This is David Ortiz's [expletive] memoir."