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Are David Ortiz’s Contract Complaints Valid?

photo credit: Matt Stone.

How can David Ortiz possibly feel humiliated with a one-year contract worth over $14 million? He does realize that he’s well over the wrong side of 30, doesn’t he? He is aware that he only plays half the game, right?

Humiliated was the wrong word to choose. I wish someone would humiliate me like they humiliated you, Papi. Did he go home and cry after taking that contract? I think that’d be quite the sight to see Ortiz sitting at the edge of his bed with his face buried in his hands after “settling” for a measly $14.575 million contract.

Athletes who complain about money are never, ever going to get any sympathy from me. Being paid a ridiculous sum of money to play a game should be viewed as a privilege, not a right.

Falling on Deaf Ears

However, I do feel that if he wanted two years, he should have gotten it. That would have brought him to about 37/38 years old, but it’s a slight gamble to take, especially for a hitter (he’s a hitter, not a player. Players wear gloves.) who’s done so much for the team over the years. I don’t think an extra year would have been that big a deal for the Red Sox to hand out, but that still doesn’t mean that big baby needed to make such a scene about it.

Why would you complain to the media (who, according to him, are too mean) about business? Why wouldn’t you go to management instead of making it public? I hope he didn’t do this to get the Boston faithful on his side because I can guarantee that Frank, the out-of-work bricklayer from Charlestown doesn’t give a damn if Ortiz acts like a baby over millions of dollars he’ll never even notice.

I’ve always hated when athletes do that. I’ve never respected any public whining over a contract. Pedro Martinez used to do this all the time too. Pedro was the absolute best, but it really made him look like a donkey. The way I see it, if you’re a player with a contract issue, tell the GM, not USA Today.

Is He Worth It?

The Red Sox opted to give Ortiz a raise of over $2 million instead of multiple years because it’s only money, something the Sox rake in. That’s chump change, peanuts, the Sox will make that money back just in beer sales alone. It would have been more costly to have a player who has nothing left in the tank. The Red Sox don’t typically give out multiple year deals to players over the age of 33 (most teams just don’t).

If Ortiz should have been the exception, then that can be debated. I understand he has been having one of the best overall seasons of his entire career (a slight decline in power has been compensated by smart hitting) and he is still one of the “faces” of baseball, an ambassador for the game, if you will.

But, the human body is just too weird to not be cautious with. He’s having a great season now, but next year it can all go away. It’s happened before to many other players. I’m sure, dear readers, that you are all familiar with Dale Murphy and Bernie Williams. Both fell off the cliff in their late 30’s, almost abruptly. You can never be too careful with players of a certain age; it’s just business.

It Could be Time to Move on

If the new “Big Baby” leaves Boston at the end of the year, he really won’t have a lot of options. I don’t see any National League team bothering with a guy who never picks up a glove. So, that’s half of Major League Baseball who already has almost zero interest.

The Yankees are out of the question too (so don’t worry pink hats), because if Jeter want to play a few more years, it’ll most likely be as a designated hitter. The White Sox, Orioles, Rays, Rangers, Mariners and Indians have players lined up to DH over the next few seasons too. He could go to the Houston Astron, who will be added to the American League next year, but they might not want to pay him what he’s currently making.

Regardless, I really don’t think Ortiz and Boston are parting ways. I’ve felt that way ever since before the All-Star break when Fenway hosted a special ceremony dedicated to the new “Big Baby.” They are going to do everything possible to keep this guy calm and appease him. And that might even mean breaking convention and throwing a three-year deal at a man who’s already 36.

In my opinion, this is a team that needs to move forward and sometimes that means saying goodbye to fan favorites.

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