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BOSTON (CBS) — David Ortiz says that he didn’t want all that much. He just wanted a two-year contract and the same salary he was making and he would have been happy. Instead, the team played hardball, threatening arbitration before the two sides reached agreement on a one-year deal that actually paid the designated hitter more money in 2012.
That’s all old news, of course, but for Ortiz, the wounds are still fresh.
“It was humiliating. There’s no reason a guy like me should go through that,” Ortiz said in Spanish to USA Today’s Jorge L. Ortiz. “All I was looking for was two years, at the same salary … and look at my numbers this year. Tell me if they wouldn’t have been better off.
“And yet they don’t hesitate to sign other guys. It was embarrassing.”
Ortiz made the comments prior to the Red Sox’ loss in Oakland on Wednesday, when Ortiz slugged career home run No. 400. They also came just a couple of weeks after Ortiz complained that Boston was becoming the “[expletive] hole” that it used to be and that he’s not having much fun playing.
On Wednesday, he made it seem as though a return to the Red Sox next season is anything but a done deal.
“If you go crazy and give contracts to whoever comes along despite not knowing how they’re going to do, then you don’t give me my due consideration, even though I do my thing every year, [expletive] that,” Ortiz told the newspaper. “I’m going to be open to anything. My mentality is not going to be, ‘I like it here.’ It’s going to be, ‘Bring it to the table, and we’ll see what happens.’”
Ortiz is the longest-tenured Red Sox player on the team, after joining Boston in 2003. Of his 400 homers, 342 were hit while he wore a Red Sox uniform. He’s averaged 36 homers per season from ’03-’11, and he’s on pace to hit 43 homers this season. His OPS is currently .997, and he hasn’t finished a season with an OPS that high since 2007, when he was 31 years old.