David Ortiz, general manager ‘¦ sort of.
For the designated hitter, figuring out roster moves haven’t been a priority. There has been a charity golf tournament to help organize — which will run from Dec. 6-9 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic — and an Achilles tendon to tend to. (Ortiz notes that while he isn’t fully healed, his recovery remains ahead of schedule.) These are the things that have taken up most of Ortiz’ time in recent days.
Still, like most who follow the Red Sox, the DH has some ideas when it comes to fixing this 69-win team.
“I’ve been a little disconnected, but it’s not a surprise for anyone who follows the Red Sox that we need some thunder in that lineup,” he said when appearing on “The Hot Stove Show” on WEEI Thursday night. “The problem is that there isn’t too many out there. That’s one thing. I’m pretty sure everybody needs to be a little patient. We have the winter meetings coming up and a lot of decisions get made right after the winter meetings, so hopefully they come out with some decisions.
“We need some power. You guys saw how the team went down in power right after I was injured. Our pitching needs some adjustments in some spots.”
Ortiz’ point regarding the team’s power is well taken, especially considering the Red Sox hit a combined 64 home runs after the DH left the lineup on July 15, putting the Sox’ 20th in the majors. They also were 22nd in OPS during that span (.684). Prior to the Achilles injury, the team had the fifth-best OPS (.768) and eighth-most homers in baseball.
The DH was also asked about any concerns he might have had regarding free agents choosing to come to Boston, with the Red Sox serving as less of a desired destination than years past. The team was reminded of the dynamic recently when one of Ortiz’ good friends, Torii Hunter, prioritized going to a team that would seemingly be set up to win right away (in the Tigers).
“With the situation we’ve been facing the last couple of years, probably,” said Ortiz said regarding if there would be somewhat of a new challenge for the Red Sox this offseason.
“It’s like I tell everyone, but at the same time they’re not expecting you to be like Babe Ruth or Ted Williams. If you come through like that, great. But if you come and play in Boston and you stay on top of your game, try to make a difference every day, and come with the attitude to play hard, the fans will appreciate that.”
One free agent whom Ortiz is clearly a big proponent of bringing back in the fold is outfielder Cody Ross.
“I think Cody should have an opportunity to come back,” the DH said. “He played in the toughest time we were going through and he handled himself pretty good. He did a great job. He’s a great teammate. He’s a great, great teammate, and he’s a guy who cares. Me, as a player, that’s what matters to me, when you have guys who are about winning, who care about coming in every day and trying to make a difference. That’s the type of player I like to have around and that’s the type of player this organization needs. Cody did all of that throughout the year.”
To listen to the entire interview with Ortiz, click here.