Obviously I have been quiet through ‘The Collapse’ and now the ‘Aftermath’ or ‘The Fallout’ or whatever title the press and history will give it. And as disgusting as things have gotten, in the mass destruction of Terry Francona, the finger-lickin’ good pointing in the clubhouse, and mass silence from the players and supposedly the owners to a degree… I decided to wait all of it out and see who was left standing when the nuclear winter dust settled.
But this simply pissed me off. We’ve all seen it… The David Ortiz ESPN interview.
And boy did it do just what he wanted. Now Boston is officially the end of the world. Free agents, run for your life, David Ortiz has declared the Red Sox dramatic, a soap opera and therefore toxic. All eyes now fall upon one of the Scarlett Hose’ most legendary performers.. and his free agency.
There’s no need to be angry with him. Big Papi is just speaking his mind… sort of. He’s been fairly quiet on the subject of Tito Francona, mum on the clubhouse happenings but loose on his free agency. When asked if Terry’s exit would affect his decision to stay in Boston he responded absolutely not… he plays for the Red Sox and not Tito. He loves the city and blah blah woof woof. For learning of Theo’s departure live in an interview… he didn’t seem all too taken aback. But oh, wait… the drama. So of course, let the reporter give the dog and pony show question of the Yankees and watch Big Papi jump through the hoop. Really? Was your agent in the background giving you a high sign for licking the Yankees free agent nuts? Like being a Red Sox free agent and praising the ‘Bombers isn’t a rather old positioning tactic?
Yes, the end of an era has occurred in Boston. The bulk of the 2004 magic is gone. Theo and Tito (unjustly put under a personal microscope in such a disgusting display) are gone and most likely Wakefield and Varitek, a stoic veteran and the team’s rugged captain… who have been and still are extremely quiet on all this (and apparently were during the season as well) are probably going.
Yes, Mr. Ortiz, you had a great year. A contract year. You’ve earned your free agency and the last big payday of your career. Take advantage of it.
Yes, change has come to the Boston Red Sox. It came quickly and with the blunt force of 007’s Walther PPK but it is here. Chances are, you may not be and all the ‘drama’ will make it that much easier for you to leave. But please don’t give us the ‘Yankees class act Bu!!$#!t’… the ‘Bombers didn’t have the single worst collapse in MLB history (followed one half game behind by the 2011 Braves.. by the way). They got dropped in the first round… so have the Sox in several recent post-seasons. The Yankees players didn’t tune out their manager due to elite selfishness or entitlement or supposedly fried chicken and the owners (not yet anyway) didn’t hang that manager out to dry. Please don’t try to kid us that if the Yankees fell apart the same way and Joe Girardi were hung out like Tito that Cashman would still be there? There wouldn’t be a poor excuse for spin control in the form of Venom from the Sons of Steinbrenner? Hell, wasn’t King George banned from operating his own team for a while? Nevermind the soap opera of Jorge prima donna not wanting to bat ninth.
All positioning. And sadly, it was probably effective/ineffective. The Yankees are set with Russell Martin catching and Jesus Montero DH’ing. They can afford you, but don’t need you. Eh, but now you threw that “Yankees do it right” thing in the faces of Red Sox Nation. You also have Kevin Youkillis coming off an injury plagued season and a new General Manager who may have the idea of moving him to DH more often to keep his bat in the line-up. You may have simply talked yourself out of Boston… but if the clubhouse culture is changing under a new manager, maybe you’d rather leave..? Where to now? Sure, you’d love to play for New York but probably wouldn’t mind staying in Boston because they can afford you. As many have seen, the DH market has taken a huge drop in recent years with teams using it to slot younger players who need at bats and veterans who need a bit of a rest. There aren’t all too many professional DH’s anymore, teams want players who can still physically play a position as well as sit for half the game and ply their hitting prowess. I’d say that rules out the NL, and who in the AL can afford you and satisfy what will undoubtedly be a need for another title?
Mr. Ortiz, you’ve been a fantastic player in Red Sox lore. You’ve given great contributions to two WS titles and been the heart and soul of the team for near a decade. You too have made mistakes (remember the steroids media leak?) which made us cringe and shrug our shoulders and look past it just as we did the repeated slow starts (most of us, anyway). But for all your bravado, all your love of the City and ‘love’ of the team the one thing you obviously haven’t been is a leader and that is what the Boston Red Sox require at this time.
Good night and good luck.