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David Ortiz wins Clemente Award, says he’d like to return to Red Sox

Oct 20, 2011, 9:13 PM EST

Red Sox' Ortiz watches his two-run home run with Yankees' Cervelli during their MLB American League baseball game in Boston

David Ortiz, who will be a free agent this winter, said last week that he was open to joining the New York Yankees next season.

On Thursday, while speaking to reporters in St. Louis after winning the Roberto Clemente Award, Ortiz clarified those comments about free agency. The upshot? People made too much about what he said about the Yankees, and he would actually like to return to Boston once the Theo Epstein mess is sorted out and the team finds a new manager.

“Of course, I would like to come back,” he said. “They have a lot of things going on right now. So once they go through all the stuff, GM and managing things, I think they’re going to start talking to the players. So, we’ll see. We’ve got time.”

And what about the Yankees?

“I never said that I would sign with the Yankees. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,” he said. “They asked me if I would play for the Yankees. I said I would think about it. But I didn’t confirm to nobody that I would play for the Yankees. I’m still a Red Sox, aren’t I?”

Ortiz is right, of course. All he said was that he would have to think about going to New York if the Yankees showed interest, which seems like a perfectly reasonable way to approach free agency. That being said, he shouldn’t be surprised by the reaction given the nature of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.

So there you have it. To sum up: David Ortiz would consider being a Yankee, but would like to stay in Boston. Also, he didn’t say it, but I’m guessing he would play in Seattle or Kansas City if the money was right. OK well, really right.

Now, back to the World Series …

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  1. bigleagues - Oct 20, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    Oh he’s such a drama queen. Oh he’s such a bad guy. Oh he shouldn’t let the door hit him on the way out . . . blah, blah, blah.

    I have a feeling Ortiz may go into late December or January before he or the Sox make a decision.

    And as I said before, if he comes back for a reasonable sum, I’ll be more than glad to have him . . . and if it doesn’t work out it doesn’t work out. I love Papi, but the Sox need some more flexibility with their lineup.

  2. offseasonblues - Oct 20, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    The Roberto Clemente Award is a big deal and I want to congratulate a guy who takes giving back seriously.

    Whether he returns to the Red Sox or not is a baseball decision. It’s not nearly as important as using the money and influence of an elite athlete for a humanitarian purpose.

    WTG, Big Papi!

    • cur68 - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:44 AM

      Yeah, definitely a tip O’Jay’s cap to Papi…

  3. dirtyharry1971 - Oct 20, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    i hope the redscums sign this guy to 5 more years

  4. aceshigh11 - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    Loved his production this year, aside from a listless September, when it counted the most.

    His attitude? Not so much.

    He has turned into a real diva in his “old” age…barging in on Tito’s post-game presser was a bridge too far. The CYA excuse that it was just a “prank” doesn’t hold water.

    I still say roll the dice and give the guy two years, but he’d better get his head screwed back on straight and just play the damned game.

    • bigleagues - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:17 AM

      Aces:

      1) why doesn’t the prank explanation hold water?

      2) Even if it wasn’t a prank, one minor incident that lasted all of about 3 seconds is enough to label the guy with an attitude problem? Or worse, a diva?!

      C’mon now, you know better than that.

      • aceshigh11 - Oct 21, 2011 at 9:27 AM

        It sure didn’t seem like a prank at the time, unless Ortiz is a really good actor…and it wasn’t the only thing…second-guessing Francona on Aceves, whining about his contract endlessly over the past two seasons…

        Just not cool behavior for a supposed stand-up guy. I love everything he’s done for us and I’d be happy to have to him back, but he needs a reality check, just like most of these overpaid babies.

  5. protectthishouse54 - Oct 21, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    The Roberto Clemente Award is supposed to go to the “MLB player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team”

    Ortiz does a great job with charity work, but in my opinion, he lost any shot at this award when he brawled Kevin Gregg in the middle of the field, when he completely lost it about having 1 RBI taken away from his stats, and when he’s constantly showboating.

    Not to mention this little gem he threw out there a few years ago…
    “I know that if I test positive by using any kind of substance, I know that I’m going to disrespect my family, *the game*, the fans and everybody, and I don’t want to be facing that situation”

    Nice. Why is he even on the ballot? It’s a disgrace to everything that Roberto Clemente stood for.

    • 18thstreet - Oct 21, 2011 at 8:20 PM

      Roberto Clemente held grudges like nobody’s business. David Mariniss’s book is very clear about this. Try not to imagine Clemente as a saint but as a living human being with flaws like the rest of us. He thought he never received appropriate credit for his greatness — look at the MVP award that went to Dick Groat (!). He was always pissed about that.

      Clemente was a great, great man. But he was not some selfless perfect human being.

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 21, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    He basically is everything the Sox fans used to hate about ARod.

  7. phillip3 - Oct 22, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Ortiz will be back with the Boston Choke Sox in 2012. If he is not wanted there he would have to take a huge pay cut to sign with any other team or go to Japan..

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