Red Sox: David Ortiz showing no interest in World Baseball Classic
By Sean Penney
Despite speculation that David Ortiz may return for the World Baseball classic, the former Boston Red Sox DH has not expressed any interest in playing.
Boston Red Sox fans may actually be forced to get used to the idea that David Ortiz isn’t coming back.
The iconic slugger has remained steadfast in his denial of any potential comeback attempt ever since capping off a historic farewell tour last season. Aside from some playful teases on social media, Ortiz hasn’t given any indication that he’s even considering a return to baseball.
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A mysterious tweet directed at The Boston Globe this week sent the Twitter-verse into a frenzy, with anxious Red Sox fans eagerly awaiting a big announcement from Big Papi. So far, we’re still waiting.
There was some speculation that Ortiz would play for his native Dominican Republic in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, but that may merely be wishful thinking from those of us that can’t come to grips with a baseball world without Ortiz in it.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, Ortiz has not expressed any interest in participating in the WBC, citing Dominican general manager Moises Alou as his source.
Alou’s statement doesn’t necessarily rule Ortiz out, it simply confirms that Ortiz hasn’t approached him about joining the team. The Dominican team would certainly welcome Big Papi with open arms if he had a last minute change of heart, but don’t count on it. Alou certainly doesn’t seem to be, nor does he need to considering the Dominican Republic won the last WBC tournament in 2013 without Ortiz.
Many Red Sox fans jumped on the rumor hoping that appearing in the WBC would give Ortiz the itch to play again, potentially setting up a return to Boston later this year. The tournament could have essentially been his spring training, as well as a chance for him to test how his aching body would hold up to game action.
Ortiz can clearly still hit at an elite level, but the extended pregame routine to prepare for games at his age and constant pain he endured grew to be too much. Yet if he proved that he could hold up through the WBC, might he be persuaded into a mid-season return, even in a part-time capacity?
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A return to the Red Sox in 2017 remains an extreme long shot, but until the season passes without any sighting of Ortiz in the lineup, fans will continue to cling to the sliver of hope that we may not have seen the last of one of the most popular players in franchise history.