David Ortiz is once again entering the final season of his contract with the Boston Red Sox, and per usual the 38-year-old slugger is not pleased about it. Last month, Big Papi said it will be “time to move on” if the Sox don’t offer him a multiyear extension at some point in the near future. He addressed his contract situation again at training camp on Wednesday.
“I just want people to stop talking to me about that,” Ortiz told John Tomase of the Boston Herald. “When you put up numbers like I’m putting up, who’s thinking about retiring, know what I’m saying? People keep on asking me, how long do you want to play? When are you going to retire? Dude, look at my numbers. I ain’t planning on retiring right now. When I slow down, then I’ll retire.”
White Ortiz was being his usually cocky self, you can’t argue with that. He had one of his better statistical seasons at age 37 last year, hitting .309 with 30 home runs and 103 RBI. He was also named World Series MVP after carrying Boston to a championship with a .688 average against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Ortiz has made it known that he would like the Red Sox to give him at least a one-year extension at $15 million, which he will make in 2014. He wants to be signed through 2015 at the same average annual value, which Papi thinks is more than reasonable.
“I don’t even know why they’re bitching about me talking about contracts,” he said. “Guys putting up my numbers, they’re making $25 (million), $30 million. I’m not asking for that. I’m asking for half of it. And they’re still bitching about it? (Expletive) them. I’m tired of hearing them talk (expletive) about me when I talk about my contract. Hey, every time I talk about my contract, I earn it, (expletive). So don’t be giving me that (expletive).”
For the record, Ortiz was lashing out at his critics and not the Red Sox. Still, he said it was humiliating when he had to sign a one-year deal to stay in a Sox uniform in 2012.
At some point, the Red Sox may simply have to pay Big Papi for what he has done — not what he will do in the future. He showed no signs of slowing down last season, but how long can that continue? Ortiz knows it won’t just as we know it won’t, which is why he wants to secure as much money as possible while he has the numbers to back it up.