Any sympathy for Papi?


Any sympathy for Papi?

I'll write more about David Ortiz for tomorrow, but in the meantime wanted to express one somewhat surprising emotion: Sympathy.

I feel bad for him.

Not in an "Ohhh, poor Papi. He gets paid 14.5 million dollars to swing a baseball bat" kind of way, because that side of the story is ridiculous. It's beyond frustrating. It makes Ortiz look like a total fraud.

I mean, how can you throw a tantrum at the notion that you're not a leader, yet continuously pull crap like this? Not only is it hypocritical, but it's psychotic. You can't have it both ways.
If you're a leader, you lead. You swallow your pride, make peace with reality and stop bitching about things that only affect you. If you don't, you don't.

Honestly, what's the benefit of complaining about a 14.5M contract? Do you think fans will sympathize with that? Or that Larry Lucchino called Ben Cherington this afternoon and said: "Hey, so I just read David's interview in The USA Today, and you know what . . . I think he has a point. We've totally mishandled this situation. Get his agent on the phone."

It's enough already.

And obviously, that's not why I feel bad.

I feel bad for Ortiz because, regardless of whether he's right to feel the way he does, this whole contract situation has turned him into a pretty miserable dude. It's chewed up one of the happiest, most fun-loving and beloved athletes in Boston history, and spit out a guy who can't even let fans celebrate his 400th home run before airing another round of played out grievances. It's like every time something good happens, Vincent Ludwig triggers a chip in Big Papi's brain: "I must bitch . . . about my contract . . . I must bitch . . . about my contract . . ." It's out of control.

And it's really too bad, because not only was it a lot of fun cheering for the old David Ortiz, but I always imagined it was a lot of fun being the old David Ortiz. And for one reason or another, that guy no longer exists.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

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Red Sox notes: Sox did their homework researching Sale's character

Red Sox notes: Sox did their homework researching Sale's character

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- In today's game, teams are sure to do their homework when bringing in a star player. For either a big free agent or trade acquisition, clubs want to know everything they can about the individual.

New starter Chris Sale passes that test for the Red Sox.

"There's always an on-field (personality) and away from the game (to consider),'' said Dave Dombrowski, the Red Sox' president of baseball operations. "On the field, he's as competitive as can be. He's got an edge to him - a good edge. His teammates love him.

"Off the field, I've heard a lot of pleasant things about him. I've heard tremendous things from him as an individual. A couple of our guys in the organization know him very well and say real good things about him.''

Sale was involved in two clubhouse incidents last season - one in which he angrily confronted White Sox president Kenny Williams about his decision to limit the amount of time Adam LaRoche's son could spend with the team, and another in which he cut up a throw-back uniform with scissors.

"I think you do your checking to see what causes some things,'' said Dombrowski. "But after I checked things, (I'm) not really (concerned).''

Another benefit to having Sale is that he could potentially take some pressure of David Price, who struggled at times in his first season in Boston and perhaps tried too hard to validate his $217 million contract.

"I think it's always good for a club if they have a number of guys, top of the rotation guys, to take the pressure off everybody else,'' Dombrowski said. "Because you know that everyone has a bad outing here and there, and somebody else picks you up in that case. I think that's helpful. If we didn't have (another No. 1 starter), I'd still have confidence in (Price).''


It's possible that the Red Sox could go into next season with as many as four lefthanders in their rotation -- Sale, Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz.

"It's unusual to have four lefthanders, potentially, in the rotation,'' acknowledged Dombrowski. "A lot of times, you're looking for one. But if it was four lefties, that would be fine. I think it's more important that they get people out. I'd be comfortable with that.

"I've really never been in that spot before, which doesn't make me feel uncomfortable. I don't have a driving force to make any trades because four guys are lefties. I think they're good lefties.''


Retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz caused a stir with an Instagram post Tuesday night, kiddingly suggesting that the arrival of Sale was forcing him to re-think his decision to quit.

"It's amazing the number of people who reached out to me,'' laughed Dombrowski. "I know David well enough. I do know that if he really had sincere interest (in returning), he would call. But I also know that he has to stay on the voluntarily retired list for 60 days. So there's rules involved with that. But I know he was just joking.

"When I walk into the clubhouse and I see him working out, I say, 'You could play now. Look at the shape you're in!' But he says, 'Oh, nooooo.' ''

The Sox have yet to officially confirm that they've signed free agent first baseman Mitch Moreland. The two sides are in agreement on a one-year deal for $5.5 million deal, but a slight delay has taken place because of either contractual formalities or added time for medical information to be obtained.

"I can't say much about free agent players,'' said Dombrowski. "We've made some strides with an individual. But I'm not in a position to say much about that for various reasons.''