The Boston Red Sox didn’t have a very good offseason. If not for the fact that they finally managed to sign Rafael Devers to a long-term extension, it would have been picture perfect. But Devers will stick around for the foreseeable future, and as Red Sox legend David Ortiz seems to want to get more involved in helping Devers grow.
While the man known as “Big Papi” is not officially part of the Red Sox coaching staff, he always seems to find a way to stay on the team. Ortiz has already appeared in Boston’s spring training sessions a few times, and he said he’s eager to work with Devers and help him grow into the superstar he’s already proven to be.
No one is more excited than Ortiz about Rafael Devers signing a 10-year, $315.5 million contract extension that begins next season.
David Ortiz has loved Devers since he first saw him use it as a teenager at an academy in the Dominican Republic. Interestingly, Ortiz says he spends more time with Devers than ever. It seems that some of the talks could center on the third baseman entering as the absolute leader of the club.
“I want to be more involved with it, because of my experience and because I’m a fellow Dominican,” Ortiz said. His mind is like that of a child. He wants to go out and have fun and play. The way we were raised as baseball players in the Dominican, your priority is to play baseball; That is the most important thing”.
But Ortiz knows better than anyone what changes when you become a role model on a team.
“You start adding things in your head when you’re at the plate and sometimes there are players who are a little comfortable with that. In this case it will be different because it’s a face of order, a face of freedom,” said Ortiz. “So sometimes you have to learn to go there. That’s why the organization wants to make it happen.”
Via Marino Pepén:
“I force myself to be a little more involved with Rafael Devers, based on my experience and we are Dominicans… The main priority for players from the Dominican Republic was to play baseball.” -David Ortiz”
With Xander Bogaerts and JD Martinez leaving in free agency, there is no doubt that Rafael Devers is the face of the Red Sox right now. Ortiz knows what it’s like to have care on his shoulders, having led Boston to three of the most recent four World Series championships. Although the 2004, 2007 and 2013 Red Sox had the most stars on their roster, Ortiz was always the guy who found a way to stand out.
If there’s anyone who can help Devers become the new face of the Red Sox, it’s Ortiz. Devers may not be easy to pull off, especially with Boston looking like the worst team in the AL East right now, but with Ortiz at the helm, Devers will be in good hands. However, Ortiz views the Boston situation with optimism.
“You know what, I like it when the team is the dog,” Ortiz said Friday. “Not many people pay attention to you, they focus on the big dog. And this is when the dog shows up, and that’s what we’ve done in the past. We will see. I hope everyone is staying healthy. That has been the problem for the last couple of years.
Ortiz, who arrived at the Red Sox’s spring training complex on Friday, is familiar with the funeral service. A World Series winner in the third few seasons with the Red Sox entered under no expectations, and many were amazed at what they did at the end of the year. One day, the 10-time All-Star led the Red Sox to a World Series championship in 2013, which ended a year after Boston finished in last place in the Eastern League. American with a modest record of 69-93.
There are also many in the Red Sox organization who see the team as the baseball world shocked this season. On the one hand, Red Sox manager Alex Cora is confident that with a combination of promising talent and veteran players on the roster, all of the relievers can pull off a slow-paced 2012 campaign.
“This group is perfect for turning the page, the kids and the seniors we brought in,” Cora said last week. You will be surprised how little has been carried around here before. Don’t take this wrong, but they don’t care about Bogie [Xander Bogaerts] Is he in San Diego now or what? [Christian] Vazquez is with the Twins.