David Ortiz doesn’t plan to just sit back and count money after signing a contract extension with the Boston Red Sox. The nine-time All-Star is looking to build on his Hall of Fame resume.
Ortiz, who on Sunday signed a one-year extension that also includes options for 2016 and 2017, no longer has to worry or talk about his contract each offseason. The 38-year-old said during a news conference Monday in Sarasota, Fla., however, that he doesn’t plan to change the way he has approached the game since Day 1.
“I’m still hungry,” Ortiz said. “It’s like I told (Red Sox general manager) Ben (Cherington) when we were going through this negotiation, there’s going to be that day when I’m not going to feel like doing what I normally do. When that happens, everybody is going to know it. Meanwhile, I feel great. I’m still hungry. I want to keep on winning. Winning is good. You feel great when you go out there and kick some ass. That’s what I look forward to.”
Ortiz certainly has done his share of heinie-whooping since signing with the Red Sox as a free agent before the 2003 season. He finished in the top five in American League MVP voting each year from 2003 to 2007 and has racked up six Silver Sluggers to go with his nearly annual All-Star selections. Ortiz finished 10th in AL MVP voting in 2013 despite missing Boston’s first 15 games while rehabbing from an Achilles injury he suffered in 2012.
Simply put, Ortiz has shown no signs of slowing down, which made his extension a logical move for the Red Sox, who have won three World Series with Big Papi entrenched in the middle of the order. Ortiz said he plans to play as long as he can, and both he and the Red Sox are thrilled to know that his future beyond 2014 now officially involves donning a Boston uniform.
“You guys know how personal I take my time in this organization,” Ortiz told reporters Monday. “This organization has been great to me and my family. I’m always proud to wear this uniform and be part of this wonderful organization. Every year is different. Every year, mentally, you get prepared for what is coming up next. In my case, I love playing the game. I love being part of this organization. Just knowing that you’re going to finish your career here with what I’ve already been for the past 11, 12 seasons, that’s something that’s a huge accomplishment. In my case, this is the place I want to be.”
Ortiz and the Red Sox were all smiles Monday, realizing the new contract likely means Papi will finish his career in Boston. It shouldn’t take long to turn the page, though, as the Red Sox have another championship to defend — something Ortiz is accustomed to by now.