Team captains serve a practical purpose when used correctly. The logical choice on the Red Sox would David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia. But Ortiz may or may not play sometime before the end of hockey season.
The easiest thing for any manager of the Red Sox is to plan on him not being around. Build the lineup for what it is now rather than what it might be when Ortiz (who, for the record, did attend Johnny Pesky’s first memorial service last season) decides to grace us with his presence. No one wants an injured player in the lineup, but it’s always suspicious when that same player is determining his own timetable.
Mike Napoli’s presence in the cleanup spot will be more than sufficient in Big Papi’s extended absence. While a captaincy featuring Ortiz would be necessary and ceremonial, Pedroia and Napoli could serve an important role as a conduit between the players and management. It would be time to thrust leadership roles on both, whether they wanted it or not.