David Ortiz is back with the Boston Red Sox in an official capacity, the team announced on Wednesday. And for the one-millionth and hopefully final time, his new role should confirm that his playing days are over.
“The Red Sox have come to a long-term agreement with 10-time All-Star and three-time World Series Champion David Ortiz, inking an unprecedented deal that should link him with the organization forever,” a team news release read.
The new role will have Ortiz wearing several hats, including acting as a mentor for current players, helping the team in recruiting efforts for a free agents and international players, while also representing the ballclub as an ambassador.
The agreement will also have Ortiz working alongside Fenway Sports Management in what the release describes as a “business development capacity.”
In some ways it sounds similar to the roles Alex Rodriguez agreed to take on with the New York Yankees upon his retirement, though it’s seems Ortiz will have a stronger link to all facets of the Red Sox operation. That connection might be where the unprecedented tag comes in, because it’s not unusual for recently retired veterans to move into advisory, instructional, mentoring or even ambassador type roles.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) September 13, 2017
“For over a decade and a half, we have gotten to know what kind of man David is both on and off the field,” Red Sox owner John Henry said in the release “His skill and success on the diamond are rivaled only by his spirit, compassion, and big heart. I cannot think of a better representative for our organization. I’m happy we can now say officially what we have long known, David is family.”
It was only a matter of time before Ortiz and the Red Sox came to an agreement that would keep “Big Papi” in the organization long term. There was even some speculation he might move into the broadcast booth for select games, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen under his new deal.
One way or another, it’s safe to assume Ortiz will provide a voice that commands respect throughout the Red Sox clubhouse. We’ve already heard him weigh in on the David Price-Dennis Eckersley feud, and we’re sure he’ll provide a leading and independent voice anytime there’s an issue. In other words, we’re going to know how Ortiz feels, regardless of whether or not those he’s working for or with agree.
Aside from his new Red Sox responsibilities, Ortiz is staying plenty busy away from the field. He continues his fine work with the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, and it was revealed on Wednesday that he’s co-producing a documentary on Ted Williams that will air on PBS in the summer of 2018. As Ortiz is showing us, retirement doesn’t always mean the work is done.
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