NEW YORK — Pedro Martinez nudged David Ortiz toward a comeback Monday, just a couple hours after Ortiz reiterated publicly how happy he is away from the game.
“Big Papi is working out, and I know he is in baseball shape, and the @RedSox could use a bit of his bat,” Martinez wrote on Twitter around 10:30 p.m.
Big Papi is working out, and I know he is in baseball shape, and the @RedSox could use a bit of his bat.— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) June 6, 2017
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The timing was funny, because a couple hours earlier, Ortiz spoke to the media and gave no indication he’s thinking along those lines.
Appearing at CC Sabathia’s PITCCH IN Foundation bowling tournament in Times Square, Ortiz said the usual: he’s happy in retirement. He’s still working on an official position with the Red Sox. He hasn’t been to a game yet since he’s retired, in part because he wants to stay out of everybody’s way.
“No, not at all man,” Ortiz said when asked if he had any regrets. “I‘m happy.”
But Martinez has been trying to push Big Papi out of retirement since the offseason, with similar comments in the past.
Ortiz was coy when asked what his role with the Sox will end up being. He’s been talking to the team about some sort of multi-faceted role — at least, that’s how it was previously described.
“You will know later,” Ortiz said when asked how the job would work, including whether there could be an on-field component.
That answer won’t put out any fires. But there's not that much smoke.
Ortiz said all the right, and rather boring things, about this year’s team.
In general: “They just need to have a hot streak where everybody starts playing well at the same time. The team already has a couple of injuries but I think they’re going to be fine.”
On the team’s lack of home-run power: “[Xander] Bogaerts’ power is going to come, Hanley [Ramirez’s] going to start hitting home runs. I think it’s going to happen at some point. Hopefully soon.”
Playoff team? “Oh yeah. They’ve got a little bit off everything. That’s what you need to go to the playoffs.”
Leadership? “They’re fine. When you got a guy like [Dustin] Pedroia, [Rick] Porcello… They know how to handle the business.”
The most excited Ortiz sounded while talking to the media was actually in discussion about Yankees phenom Aaron Judge, the huge slugger who’s a shoe-in for American League Rookie of the Year. Judge was on hand at the fundraiser, which is aimed at enriching the lives of inner city youth.
“That kid is scary man. That’s the scariest thing I have ever seen,” Ortiz said. “A guy that big that hits like that man, that’s special.”
Ortiz misses being in the Bronx, to be sure.
“Oh yeah. I loved Yankee Stadium,” Ortiz said. “Yankee Stadium was beautiful.”
Beautiful enough that he needs another at-bat there, though? If Pedro knows something, Ortiz wasn’t letting on.