With each passing day, the soap opera that is the Red Sox’ offseason continues to develop unseemly plot twists. First, on the heels of Boston’s epic September collapse, manager Terry Francona gets thrown under the bus, then faces spineless insinuations that his ability to manage was comprised by his use of prescription painkillers. Then general manager Theo Epstein departs to join the Chicago Cubs, the only major league franchise that can eclipse the Red Sox’ historical (pre-2004) ineptitude.
Now comes word that free agent designated hitter David Ortiz would consider jumping ship to join the New York Yankees.
Said Ortiz in an interview with ESPN’s Colleen Dominguez:
“That’s something I gotta think about. I’ve been here on the Red Sox a long time, and I’ve seen how everything goes down between these two ballclubs. It’s great from what I hear. It’s a good situation to be involved in. Who doesn’t want to be involved in a great situation where everything goes the right way?”
It’s that last sentence that no doubt had Sox fans spitting out their coffee in an apoplectic rage this morning. A lot has been said about Francona “losing” veteran support in the clubhouse. Ortiz reportedly called a players-only meeting in September in an attempt to right the sinking ship, but you have to wonder if, based on his comments, Ortiz might have been one of those veterans who left Francona twisting in the wind. And now he’s looking to hop in a life raft and paddle south.
“I have been thinking about a lot of things. I don’t know if I want to be part of this drama for next year.”
You know, the drama he only halfheartedly attempted to defuse? On a team apparently replete with me-first players, Ortiz would have been the perfect veteran leader to demand accountability and promise to change the clubhouse culture.
Instead, he’s looking to bail on an organization that gave him a tremendous opportunity to revitalize his career — not to mention his bank account. And bailing when the going gets tough — especially to potentially join a hated rival — just ain’t cool.