When a major league player gets drilled with a 94mph fastball, one of several blame-game scenarios can play out. The player will either a) shrug it off as part of the game, b) say the pitcher hit him intentionally, c) suggest it was retaliation for something that happened earlier - or all of the above.
Or, if you're David Ortiz, there is another option: blame the media.
Big Papi was hit by a pitch in the Red Sox win over the Yankees Thursday night, and he suggested the media was the driving force behind CC Sabathia's errant pitch.
"I just want to thank [the media]. Not all of you, but some of you, for the stat today about ... not being hit," he said, according to the Boston Globe. "I finally got hit. I hope you [expletive] are happy."
Ortiz wasn't the only one suspicious of the reporters in the locker room. Starting pitcher Josh Beckett also targeted the sports media.
"I'm still trying to figure out if David got hit for something I did or if it was something ESPN stirred up," Beckett said.
Hmm. We're guessing the actual cause was either Ortiz (whose) or Beckett, who hit both Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez earlier in the game.
Or maybe Ortiz was just due to get plunked by the Bronx Bombers. According to CBSSports.com's Matt Synder, Ortiz had gone 696 plate appearances against the Yankees without having ever been hit by a pitch. When Jeter was hit by Beckett Thursday, it was the 24th time in the regular season (in over 1,100 PAs) that Jeter was hit. When A-Rod was hit, it was the 20th time in 950 PAs.
For what it's worth, Sabathia went with the standard excuse: "The ball just got away from me."
As for Ortiz, he may have been miffed at the media but he got the last laugh. Big Papi started the big seventh-inning rally and then shut the door later in the inning with a two-RBI double that sealed Boston's sweep over New York.