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Can someone please give this man eight more years in office? Big Papi that is. Seriously, if David Ortiz doesn’t run the city of Boston then who will? Tom Menino? No! Menino doesn’t even want to, he wants Papi to do it himself.
“I’d like to see an eight-year deal myself,” Menino said when asked about the possibility of Ortiz playing in Boston for at least several more years. “He’s not just a ballplayer, he’s a person, he’s a personality. He’s with the kids today, he’s with the kids all the time in our city. He makes a difference in young people’s lives, that’s why I’d like to see him [stay]. Now some ballplayers just do it on the field, he does it off the field too, which means so much as mayor of the city.”
Menino basically says it himself; have Ortiz win multiple championships for the Red Sox and then go visit the struggling inner-city kids after. Menino can’t win championships and he doesn’t want to go visit all the kids who have hard lives, so he has Ortiz do it and has him do it with a smile.
It not only seems like Menino wants Ortiz in a Red Sox uniform for years to come, he wants him to do his dirty work. Boston was recently voted the meanest city in the country, so don’t you think that maybe, just maybe, that Menino wants the Red Sox to win the World Series and make Boston a happier city? Makes sense right?
Besides, an eight-year contract is not even that bad for Ortiz. It’ll bring him to 43 years old. Tim Wakefield will be turning 45 on August 2 and he’s still going strong. So Big Papi until he’s 43 is nothing. It’s not like he’s stealing bases or diving for ground balls. He’s sitting in the batters box and knocking the ball out of the park. Nothing to it.
Ortiz has been planted in the batters box since coming to Red Sox, only to see the field for an average of 14.75 times a season. He’s played first base only 118 times in his eight-year career in Boston, so it’s safe to say that he’s not going to see the field too often. Running 90 feet to first base can be tough and 180 feet from home to second? Shouldn’t kill him.
So eight years? That’s nothing for a designated hitter. Even if he starts to slow down after say five or six years, bring in another DH to complement Ortiz so he doesn’t have to hit left-handed pitchers. This would cut down his at-bats and running.
A good example of why the Red Sox should re-sign Ortiz to a long-term contract is The Big Hurt. Frank Thomas people! Thomas played for 19 seasons, with totals of 2,322 games and 8,199 at bats. Ortiz has only played 1,693 games and had 6,035 at bats in his career. Big Papi has about 700 more games to play to catch up with Thomas and say he plays an average of 87.5 games over an eight year span, that brings his total to just about the same as Thomas’.
Thomas retired when he was 40 years old, three years younger than Ortiz will be when his new eight-year contract is up. Three years is a long time, but Thomas also played more early on in his career.
The Big Hurt played first base 706 times in his career, Ortiz has only played the field 250. That means Ortiz should be well more rested to play out the remainder of the eight year contract.
Don’t think the comparison between Thomas and Ortiz is liable? Well look at Ortiz and Jim Thome. Thome is still playing and still crushing the ball and he’s going to be 41 at the end of August.
Thome has played 2,444 games and has had 8,125 at bats in his career, so far. Those numbers are very similar to Thomas’. So to say that a designated hitter can’t play well into his forties is wrong.
Going back 12 years ago, Ortiz in his first three seasons in the majors only put up a collective 10 home runs. He currently stands at 369 career home runs, well off from Thome’s 596. So Big Papi has a lot of catching up to do, and what better way then doing it after Thome retires?
Will the Red Sox actually sign Ortiz to a eight-year contract before his 36th birthday in November? Probably not, but it totally makes sense to. Ortiz has been and will always be a designated hitter, and all designated hitters do is hit home runs. He doesn’t have to think about anything else but crushing the ball. So how can hitting home runs derail a player’s career? It really can’t.
Theo, sign the man so he can win Boston championships and do Mayor Menino’s job of keeping the city happy. If he doesn’t get his contract Menino will bring the hammer down.
“If they don’t give us a good contract, I have the power to raise their taxes,” Menino said jokingly. “So let’s negotiate now with David.”