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David Ortiz won’t risk Achilles with free agency looming

Aug 12, 2012, 10:00 PM EDT

David Ortiz Getty Images

Out since  July 17 with a strained Achilles’ tendon, David Ortiz wants to come back and play for the Red Sox as soon as possible. However, he made it clear Sunday that he’s thinking ahead to his upcoming free agency in deciding not to rush his return.

“If you go back and play sore, of course you could [tear it]. It’s not healed. It’s not ready and I don’t want to run that risk,” Ortiz told’s Joe Haggerty. “I’m a free agent after this year and I don’t want to have a surgery going into free agency.”

It’s hard to blame Ortiz for thinking that way after what happened with Ryan Howard last year. Howard, playing on a sore Achilles, ruptured the tendon on the Phillies’ very last play of the season and missed nine months before returning July 6. If Ortiz were to suffer a similar injury, it’d ruin his chances of landing a multiyear deal and probably cost him a few million dollars in salary next year.

Still, Ortiz’s complaints about his contract situation can’t be endearing him to a Red Sox front office that has never been shy about paying the man. Of course, the Red Sox look at the history of designated hitters in their mid-30s and Ortiz’s body type and only want to go year to year with him. They see that as smart baseball sense. Ortiz looks at the deals handed to guys like John Lackey and Carl Crawford and sees his one-year contract as a lack of respect.

Ortiz will keep testing his Achilles with the hopes of returning in the near future. Currently five games back of the second wild card spot in the AL, the Red Sox desperately need him in the middle of their lineup.


  1. bozosforall - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Ortiz is a roiding Puh C.

    • drewzducks - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:25 PM

      Someone has to keep A Roid company.

      • bozosforall - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:28 PM

        You mean the guy that tested positive while he was a Texas Ranger, the same year that both Ortiz and Ramirez tested positive for PEDs?

      • cur68 - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:18 AM

        How does that reduce the point drewz made? Ortiz tested postive. So did Manny. So did ARod. So what?

      • deadeyedesign23 - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:48 AM

        If you think ARod only took steroids while he was a Ranger I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

  2. giselleisasucubus - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Free agency or not, if my achilles was going to go, I wouldn’t play either. I’ve seen that injury up close. Ouch.

  3. muir6 - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Here it starts the smear campaign initiated by red sox brass to run Ortiz outta town. Ownership will turn this personal and attempt to make him look like the bad guy

    • bozosforall - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:42 PM

      and as usual, the loser Red Sox fans will swallow it hook, line and sinker.

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 12, 2012 at 11:12 PM

        I want to disagree with you so bad but I can’t

      • bozosforall - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:55 PM


      • bbil2012 - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:33 AM

        You’ll change your tune when he’s DHing for the Yankees next season and dropping them in the RF seats like Granderson.

      • bozosforall - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:57 PM

        He needs to be a man and admit that he used PEDs first. ARod was the first to man up, while Georgia Evans still is in denial.

  4. keithbangedyermom - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Yeah, he’s gone. And yes, the Boston media will now turn him into a gigantic, self-centered ass.

    • hockeyflow33 - Aug 12, 2012 at 11:13 PM

      if he comes out against Obama they’ll treat him as if he was a kid toucher

      • paperlions - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:52 AM

        Not being a US citizen, he probably isn’t too invested in US politics.

      • chill1184 - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:28 AM


        Ortiz became a US Citizen in 2008

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:26 PM

      Not if he beats them to it.

  5. willclarkgameface - Aug 12, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    Headline during 2012 Winter Meetings: “David Ortiz Signs With New York Yankees 3 Years $36 Million; Red Sox sign free agent Derek Lowe to minor league deal”.

    Welcome back to the cellar Red Sox.

  6. brewcrewfan54 - Aug 12, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    It doesn’t sound good coming out of his mouth but how can you blame him?

  7. giantssb42champs - Aug 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Big Poopie needs his “protein shakes”.

  8. mcsnide - Aug 13, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    So a guy whose ability to make a living depends on being healthy is going to make sure his Achilles is fully healed before coming back to a team that’s a longshot for the playoffs anyway? Hard to argue with that one.

    • mybrunoblog - Aug 13, 2012 at 12:18 AM

      Pleeeeze. Ortiz is not some proletariat worker in a factory working 12 hour days. The man gets paid over $14 million a year to play. He should be busting his ass every day to be out there playing. Ortiz worrying more about 2013 than this year shows you where his character truly resides.

    • pisano - Aug 13, 2012 at 12:22 AM

      Long shot? they have no shot, but getting back to Ortiz, this will no doubt be his last contract, with Boston or whom ever, so he better be in the best shape he can be in, because if he were to rupture that Achilles it’s history for him.

      • badintent - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:10 AM

        That’s right .LONG shot.Your team packed it in last month. Lester and Beckett are clowns , belong in a circus, like your Boston media. Your ownership makes Bud Selig look like a genius and the Sox had some many injuries half of them report overweight and out of shape to camp. Pathetic.I know, it’s all Buckey Dent and Bill Buckner’s fault.Ortiz should get on his knees and beg the Yankees to sign him with that short deck in Left !!

      • aceshigh11 - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:32 AM

        First of all: Pisano is a Yankees fan.

        And secondly: he was correct the first time. They have NO shot. This team is pathetic and needs to blown up.

        I don’t blame Ortiz for wanting to be 100% healthy before he retakes the field. This Red Sox team isn’t worth the risk.

  9. stex52 - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    It’s a little hard to watch a multimillionaire making 14 MM$ this year explain how he really can’t take a chance by trying hard for his team. Especially because he is doing it so he can go make money somewhere else.

  10. sabatimus - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Does Ortiz really look at the Lackey and Crawford contracts and think he’s being disrespected? Those contracts were TERRIBLY overblown and a clear sign that Theo was simply throwing money at people and not making good decisions. We all know about Lackey (vomit), and Crawford has never played, in a Tampa uniform or otherwise, as a $21 million/year player. Hopefully Ortiz can at least see this.

    • willclarkgameface - Aug 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      Ortiz sees dollar signs, not clear-headed, common sense. He sits on his ass 3 hours a night – besides the 3 or 4 times he steps up to the plate – thinking about how everyone disrespects him and that 2004 was HIS victory. Yep. He had HUGE hits that postseason, but what kind of shit was he on and how has he performed in the postseason since? MISERABLY!

      I hope the 30 GMs in the game do some ESP collusion and offer him ZILCH.

  11. chill1184 - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Smart man, why risk further injury. Seems like a no-brainer.

  12. nymets05 - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    If he doesn’t want to play….void the remaining dollars on his 2012 contract.

  13. nobody78 - Aug 13, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    If Ortiz isn’t ready to play, and if he thinks he’ll risk major injury by playing, he shouldn’t play.

    But talking about it in terms of his coming pay day is really not smart. You’d think by now he’d know something about the Boston media, and know that they’ll latch onto remarks like that. And never even mind the Boston media. Given the turmoil in the clubhouse right now (which has been well-reported), and Ortiz’ long tenure with the team, he should be playing the role of a leader right now – which means he should be extra careful with his words. All he had to say is, “I’m not ready, and if I come back now, I could really get hurt.” If he just doesn’t mention his contract, there’s no problem.

  14. muir6 - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    If he tears it he is Testarvede Marino walking dead career over, unless sox win 9 outta ten he should shut it down

  15. ray0414 - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Andy Dirks of the tigers just returned from the same injury, he was out for almost 2 months! you cant mess around with a bad achilles and you certainly cant play with it! it has to be 120% or you’ll just reaggrivate it and eventually itll tear. the sox arent making a run, so hes better off letting it heal.

  16. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Sitting out 2 months with an Achilles injury also does not help his case as a free agent. The guy is a DH. He does not have to run around the OF like Dirks. Swing hard enough and all he has to do is trot (though a HR trot is how he injured it in the first place).

  17. badintent - Aug 13, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    @sabtoo, You a funny man ! He got the trots running around the bases really slow. He thought he was Barry Bonds for a nano -second.

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