Despite Hanley Ramirez’s best efforts, David Ortiz is done playing baseball for the Boston Red Sox.
But you still could see Big Papi floating around Fenway Park in the near future.
When the legendary slugger retired last season, he hinted he might be interested in taking an off-field job with the club down the road. The Red Sox, obviously, said they’d welcome him with open arms. During a joint press conference Thursday alongside Red Sox principal owner John Henry, team chairman Tom Werner offered insight into what Ortiz’s role would entail.
“That remains to be defined,” Werner told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla., as aired on NESN. “But I know David expects to have a role going forward. I think he feels that it’s probably good to have spring training start and not be a presence, but I would hope that at some point he would come here and address the team about leadership.
“We are talking to him frequently, and we expect he will have a role — which he will principally define, but that will be important.”
There’s a blueprint for Ortiz: Ex-players Pedro Martinez and Jason Varitek are employed by the team as special assistants to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, and several other Red Sox alums also are involved with Boston in some capacity.
Just don’t expect Ortiz’s title to be “designated hitter.” When asked if he’d offer the 41-year-old a “blank check” to come out of retirement, Werner pointed out how “all of you (the media) know” that Ortiz played through “quite a bit of pain” last season.
That’s when Henry interjected.
“Actually, I don’t think they know quite how much pain he was in last year,” Henry said. “Maybe, but I don’t think so. And not just last year.”
The Red Sox will dearly miss Ortiz’s presence on the field this season, but it appears he won’t be going far off it.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images