Red Sox: Pedro Martinez still believes David Ortiz will play in 2017
Pedro Martinez predicts that former teammate David Ortiz will return to the Boston Red Sox at some point this season.
Boston Red Sox fans aren’t ready to accept that David Ortiz‘s career is really over and apparently one of his former teammates isn’t either.
Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez made an appearance at the Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday, where he spoke with CSNNE’s Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI’s John Tomase on their show.
It was there that Pedro predicted that Big Papi would return to his designated hitter role with the Red Sox this season.
Ortiz has repeatedly stated that he plans to stay retired following 2016’s season-long farewell tour. He was honored in every visiting park and showered with gifts before wrapping up the season with an elaborate three-day ceremony in Boston. His 20-year career officially came to an end with an emotional good-bye at Fenway Park following Boston’s loss in Game 3 of the ALDS.
Why tarnish those moments by coming back for another round of farewells?
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Ortiz is now 41 years old with an aching body that can no longer handle the grind of a grueling season. We know he can still hit – in his final season he put up numbers comparable to some of the best in his career – but his body was telling him it was time to shut it down and Ortiz listened.
Red Sox executives will meet with Ortiz during their upcoming visit to the Dominican Republic to tour the team’s academy on the island. President Sam Kennedy revealed that they intend to discuss potential roles that Ortiz could fill to remain a part of the organization, mentioning marketing opportunities, working with young players and even broadcasting as potential options for the next stage of his career. Unfortunately, none of the options he rattled off would put him in the Red Sox lineup next season.
A comeback may not be on the agenda to discuss with Ortiz, but Pedro isn’t ruling out the idea that it’s a talk that could eventually happen. Even if Ortiz waits until mid-season to return in a limited capacity, he could give the Red Sox a boost down the stretch and be a difference-maker in the postseason. Until the 2017 comes to a close without any sign of Ortiz at the plate, Martinez refuses to believe that we’ve seen the last of Big Papi.
Pedro doesn’t seem to have any inside information that his friend Ortiz confided in him. While enjoying his own retirement, Martinez has simply become a fan who, like the rest of us, wants to see Ortiz swing the bat again.
Don’t count on it happening, but you can never say never. Nobody expected he could keep producing at an elite level at his age, so who’s to say he won’t surprise us again?