Red Sox: David Ortiz takes on new role within the organization
David Ortiz is taking on a new role within the Boston Red Sox organization as he looks to keep contributing long after his playing days are over.
Retirement may have taken David Ortiz out of the lineup but it won’t pull him away from the Boston Red Sox organization.
During an appearance to announce his partnership with Eastern Bank on Tuesday, Ortiz revealed to WEEI’s Rob Bradford that he and the Red Sox have agreed upon a role for the retired slugger.
"“I’m going to be doing different things with the Red Sox,” Ortiz said. “I’m going to be up in the front office. Doing some things like going seeing players. That’s going to happen. At some point you’re going to see more often around, things like spring training. Pretty much what the other guys normally do.”"
It sounds like Oritz will be involved in a consulting role, similar to former teammates Jason Varitek and Pedro Martinez. We’re bound to see Big Papi down in Fort Myers next spring, working with young players on their hitting mechanics and offering advice based on his vast experience in the big leagues.
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It remains to be seen how much Ortiz will make himself available during the season. He played with many of the guys on the current roster, many of whom leaned on him for his wisdom and leadership in previous seasons.
Several of the young players on this team, most notably Mookie Betts, have spoken out about the difficulties of moving on without Ortiz – not only for the production he can provide to the offense but for what he brought to the clubhouse. Perhaps having the well respected Ortiz around will help strengthen the clubhouse chemistry even if his bat can no longer strengthen the lineup.
Ortiz also mentioned that he’ll be spending some time in the front office. Does that mean Dave Dombrowski could pick his brain about roster construction or player acquisition? It’s hardly unprecedented for the Red Sox brass to consider the opinions of others within the organization. Ortiz was originally signed off the scrap heap by Boston at the insistence of Pedro Martinez. As a consultant, Ortiz could help find the next diamond in the rough.
For those hoping that being around the team on a more regular basis may pull Ortiz out of retirement, forget about it. While he admits that he missed the game at first, Ortiz has been staying busy and now seems content with putting his playing days behind him.
"“I told you guys how it was going to be and it’s been that way,” Ortiz said. “Just because I look in shape and everything, don’t let me fool you. I have haven’t swung the bat since I retired.”"
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The Red Sox could use some home run power in their lineup but it won’t come from Ortiz. That doesn’t mean he can’t still have value to the organization. Ortiz has been at the heart of the Red Sox franchise for the last 15 years and it’s great to get confirmation that he’ll remain part of the organization for many years to come.