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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Is David Ortiz Ready to Cut Ties With Red Sox?

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 01:  Red Sox Executive V...
First year GM of the Red Sox, Ben Cherington, will be faced with a tough decision this winter regarding David Ortiz' desire to sign a multi year deal.   (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
A story that came out in the USA Today on Wednesday once again suggested that David Ortiz may be close to the point of cutting ties with the place he's called home since coming over in 2003.

In the interview, which was apparently done in Spanish, Ortiz said basically that he's still humiliated by the way he was treated in the offseason, referring to the Red Sox reluctance to hand him a multi-year deal. Before I offer up my thoughts on the most recent comments from Big Papi, here are some excerpts from the story.

"If you go crazy and give contracts to whoever comes along despite not knowing how they're going to do, then you don't give me my due consideration, even though I do my thing every year, (expletive) that,"



"I'm going to be open to anything. My mentality is not going to be, 'I like it here.' It's going to be, 'Bring it to the table, and we'll see what happens.' "

"They ended up giving me $3 million more than that (actually $2.025 million), and look at my numbers this year. Tell me if they wouldn't have been better off. And yet they don't hesitate to sign other guys. It was embarrassing."


These were all comments published in the story, written by his brother Jorge Ortiz. I'm kidding, but that's really his name. It's a good story, but the vibe I got from it wasn't so good.

The first observation is the most obvious and it's the one we are already aware of. David Ortiz holds a grudge to this day that the Red Sox didn't "appreciate" him and give him the respect he thought was deserved.

The second observation, and this may be the most important, is that David Ortiz is much more unhappy than we had originally thought and It may lead to the end of Big Papi in Boston.

When the rant took place last month, most people dismissed it as a typical David Ortiz rant. One that we've become accustomed to over the years and nobody blinks at it because he goes out and produces better when playing with an edge.

BOSTON, MA - MAY 21:  David Ortiz #34 of the B...
 David Ortiz suggested in a story published by USA Today that he will not be partial to the Red Sox this off-season when considering his career path. Getty Images via @daylife)
This may be a totally different story. Ortiz is bitter, and has somewhat of a right to be, that the Red Sox committed big bucks to players that I won't name because we all know, that haven't lived up to expectations, but they are unwilling to go more than a year with him, A constant contributor over his years in Boston.

The way he's played this season, the Sox may be forced to give him what he wants if they intend to employ his services next season. If they don't, despite his age, somebody else may. A designated hitter of Ortiz' caliber completely changes the look of a lineup.

Will Ben Cherington realize this and sign him to a two-year deal? Or will the GM remain uncomfortable with the proposition of a multi-year deal for a player in his late-30's?

There's no doubt it's risky either way. If they sign him up and he fails to produce, Cherington takes a hit. If he goes the cautious route and let's him walk, and he produces for two years, he will also take the slack for that. Will it be a risk worth taking? We'll find out soon enough. Will David Ortiz end up in an opposing teams lineup next season?


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