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Big Papi wants a little more of Boston before his career is over. Last week David Ortiz said it may be “time to move on” to spur talks about a contract extension with the Boston Red Sox. Some reporters thought this move by Papi was outrageous. I think it is a pretty shrewd business move by a man that knows his worth.
The Red Sox should give Ortiz a one-year contract extension. Why? He exceeded all expectations in regular and post-season play during the 2013 season. Let’s look at the numbers:
He hit .309/.395/.564 in 2013 overall. Oh, and by the way, in 2004, he hit .301/.380/.603. Over the past decade his numbers have been consistent. Ortiz hit 30 home runs and 103 RBIs last season. His batting average during the World Series was .668. He hit two home runs and struck out only once.
How does he size up qualitatively? Ortiz is Boston. He believes in his teammates and the fans. This is his f***ing city, and he is not afraid to remind us to keep our chins up when things are looking down both on and off the field. Having Ortiz walk away saying, “I always keep on telling people this is a business” would leave a bad taste in a lot of fans mouths. Celtics fans certainly felt that pain when Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce came back to town in Brooklyn uniforms. Am I right? Mr. Cherington, do you really want to put Red Sox fans in the same painful position? Ortiz has the added value to back it up, too, making it that much more sacrilegious for him to play for another team. The same can not be said for Garnett and Pierce after this week’s visit to the Garden.
At the end of the day, Big Papi may just want the same respect from the front office that they showed Dustin Pedroia in July. They guaranteed that he would retire a Red Sox with the eight-year, $110 million deal. Ortiz is not asking for $110 million, or eight more years. He is 38 years old and will most likely play for another two years at the very most. He reversed the curse in 2004, then brought us two more World Championships. The people of Boston do not want to see a future Boston sports legend, living the American Dream, whine and beg for what he deserves.
Let’s give the big man his money and move on.