PHILADELPHIA -- David Ortiz -- or "Big Sloppy," as former closer Jonathan Papelbon referred genially to his ex-teammate Friday -- was not in the lineup for Game No. 1 of the Red Sox's Interleague schedule, against the Phillies.
Manager Bobby Valentine said he had been looking to get Ortiz a day off.
"This is a long stretch. I know he's DH'ing, but he's running around the bases every game," Valentine said. "I was looking for one of these days for him not to play anyway. Today, [Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels] is actually a little tougher against right-handers than left-thanders, and it wouldn't [be] a bad guy for him to be hitting against. But I figured, take the off-day today. You can always have a different plan for tomorrow."
Valentine said he does indeed have a plan for Ortiz's use in these Interleague games, which force Ortiz to play first base if he's to be in the starting lineup. He's still a dangerous option off the bench.
"I shared it with David," Valentine said. "He's not playing today, but he is so available."
Ortiz did make his way into Friday's game, but he grounded out while pinch-hitting for Matt Albers in the eighth inning.
Before the game, Papelbon, now the Phillies' closer, said he'd particularly relish facing Ortiz.
"Big Sloppy. That's my man," Papelbon said. "I don't think he's going to play. Is he playing tonight? I knew he wouldn't play, man. I knew he wouldn't be playing."
Ortiz, in turn, had a message for Papelbon.
"You tell him two things," Ortiz said. "He's not going to throw fastballs by me, No. 1, and he better not hang that splitter. Let him know."