Red Sox All-Star DH David Ortiz tells The Boston Globe he wants to stay in Beantown at least another season.
He’s hopeful the team picks up its $12.5 million option (no buyout) on him for 2011. Such a move seemed highly unlikely the first month-plus of this season as Ortiz endured a second consecutive poor start.
Now, after earning berths in the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby, Ortiz again is thinking long term.
"Hopefully, it gets done," Ortiz told the Globe. "I think I will be here. I may look crazy, but I’m not stupid. I don’t see myself playing nowhere else and that’s important to me."
"I want to stay here in Boston and always have a home here, go back and forth when I do retire. The people here have been good to me and I’ve tried to be good to them."
Red Sox owner John Henry, who backed Ortiz when the slugger was linked to performance-enhancing drugs last year, appears to still be in Big Papi’s corner.
"How could I not support someone who has meant so much to our franchise?" Henry told the Globe in an e-mail.
After batting .143 with one home run in April, Ortiz has put up a .297/.421/.641 line since. He has 17 homers and 53 RBIs over his last 57 games.
Despite the current good feelings, Ortiz remains upset that some believed he no longer could hit.
"I never thought I was finished," Ortiz told the Globe. "But other people, I know they did. I was a dead in their eyes, I saw that."
Ortiz also recounts a testy period between he and manager Terry Francona. Ortiz reacted angrily when he was benched and removed for a pinch hitter during his slump.
"I have seen tons of players in other places who struggle," Ortiz told the Globe. "All you hear is, ‘Oh, he’ll be fine.’ Why couldn’t they say that about Papi? But I understand it. (Francona) was under a lot of pressure and I wasn’t getting it done. That’s a bad combination.
"But we all forgot about one thing. I forgot for a minute who I am and what I’m capable of doing. And because of the pressure he was getting, he forgot about who I was, too. But things went back in place."
Francona knew Ortiz wasn’t his biggest fan at times.
"He was mad at me, he probably was mad at [the media]. There was a lot going on and there wasn’t a lot going right," Francona told the Globe.