In an interview, before hitting his 400th career home run, Ortiz said that he was humiliated and embarrassed by this past off-season contract negotiation with the Red Sox. Ortiz has some lingering bitterness over the clubs decision not to offer him a multiyear deal. The Red Sox offered arbitration and he accepted.
Ortiz agreed to a one-year $14.575 million deal in February, hours before an arbitration hearing. Last time we checked, $14.575 was neither embarrassing or humiliating.
Yesterday, Ortiz was in classic leadership form.
“If you go crazy and give contracts to whoever comes along despite not knowing how they’re going to do, then you don’t give me my due consideration, even though I do my thing every year, (expletive) that,” said Ortiz, the Red Sox lone All-Star representative. “I’m going to be open to anything. My mentality is not going to be, ‘I like it here.’ It’s going to be, ‘Bring it to the table, and we’ll see what happens.’ ”
“It was humiliating. There’s no reason a guy like me should go through that,” he said. “All I was looking for was two years, at the same salary ($12.5 million).
“They ended up giving me $3 million more than that (actually $2.025 million), and look at my numbers this year. Tell me if they wouldn’t have been better off.
“And yet they don’t hesitate to sign other guys. It was embarrassing.”
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington who “coerced Ortiz into agreeing to arbitration” said “David is having a terrific season and has been a leader on and off the field for us. We remain hopeful that David will finish his career with the Red Sox.” He then added, that he would not start negotiations on an extension during the current season.
Ortiz is having a great season thus far, leaving the club in every major offensive category, with 22 home runs, 55 RBI, and a . 997 OPS. The fact is Ortiz agreed to the arbitration and agreed to the contract, we say shut up and play.