If you go back and play sore, of course you could tear it. Its not healed. Its not ready and I dont want to run that risk. Im a free agent after this year and I dont want to have a surgery going into free agency." David Ortiz
It's now been 27 days since David Ortiz went on the 15-Day DL, and even before the above quote surfaced yesterday, Ortiz was getting flack for putting free agency before the team. So, it should only get worse from here.
But if I'm the Red Sox, I'd actually prefer that Papi takes this approach.
First of all, let's be serious: The Sox aren't dead, but they're far more likely to miss the playoffs for a third straight year than to make a miraculous run. With or without Ortiz. So even if he returns, it will probably be in vain.
Second, and most importantly, while Ortiz likes to think of himself as a free agent this winter, the fact remains that he's still overwhelmingly likely to end up back in Boston. No other team will give him the kind of money that he wants; no one's going to break the bank on a 37-year-old, now injury-prone DH. Nope. It's going to be the same thing as last year. He'll bitch and moan and claim to have a better offer but eventually come back to the Sox.
And you know what?
They could use him. Ortiz was far and away their most important slugger this season, and even if he can't quite match it again next year, whatever he brings to the table will be an upgrade over their other options. He could and likely will be an enormous part of next year's lineup.
So why risk tearing an Achilles at the expense of next season?
It's not worth it.
So, take your time, Papi.
(And it also wouldn't hurt to stop talking.)