Ortiz' aim: Break slump, resume playing regularly


Ortiz' aim: Break slump, resume playing regularly

By Art Martone

David Ortiz says he's not used to being platooned and wants to go back to playing every day -- and is willing to leave Boston to do so -- but his first priority is getting out of an early season slump that, for the second year in a row, has choked off his production.

In an exclusive one-on-one interview with Comcast SportsNet New England's Jessica Moran that aired Friday night on SportsNet Central, Ortiz said, "My mindset right now is to change things around. And I know this ballclub counts on me a lot and I got to bring it back . . .

"I'm a team player. I'm a team guy. I try not to be selfish."

But he also said that his playing status is "something that, at some point, has to change."

"It's not easy. I'm not going to lie to you," Ortiz told Moran about being platooned. "It's something I guess I got to get used to for a while . . . but, to tell you the truth, you don't get 100 percent out of me. It's hard to stay sharp like that . . . "

When referring to "100 percent," Ortiz was referring to results and not effort.

"That's what I'm used to, you know," he said of playing regularly. "That's what I'm used to. And that's how I get out of trouble. Playing, and seeing pitchers, and seeing the ball and swinging at it."

It's clear Ortiz expects to go back to playing regularly if he begins hitting again, and would ask to be traded if his status didn't change.

"Well, if you don't play here, you got to play somewhere else. That's how it goes," he said when asked if could see himself playing in another uniform. . "Hopefully not. This is my life right here, but what else can I say? . . .

"I want to finish my playing time here," he said. "I love this town, I love the people around here, I love the fans, everybody . . . But you know how this goes. Sometimes it doesn't work, sometimes it's not what you expect, sometimes people aren't happy with what you do, and things change."

But one thing that hasn't changed: His belief in himself.

"Oh, yeah," he said with a laugh when asked if he still had something left in the tank. "Oh, yeah."

Art Martone can be reached at amartone@comcastsportsnet.com.

Pedro Martinez to WEEI: Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez to WEEI: Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”