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Ortiz says he wants to stay

By Nick Cafardo
Globe Staff / October 21, 2011

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ST. LOUIS - David Ortiz, who last night was named winner of Major League Baseball’s prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, backed off his comments to ESPN earlier this month about potentially playing for the Yankees.

“I never said I would sign with the Yankees. No, no, no,’’ he said. “They asked me if I would play with the Yankees. I said I would think about it. I didn’t say I would go to the Yankees. I’m still with the Red Sox, aren’t I?’’

Ortiz, a pending free agent, and the Sox have a 10-day period after the World Series to negotiate. He is believed to be seeking a two-year deal close in annual value to the $12.5 million he earned this season.

“Of course I would like to come back,’’ Ortiz said. “We have a lot of things going on right now, and once they go through this stuff, like the general manager and the manager, they’ll start talking to the players.’’

Ortiz said he had no knowledge of teammates drinking in the clubhouse during September games.

“I’m there every day, but I do what I got to do,’’ Ortiz said.

The Roberto Clemente Award is given annually to the player “who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field.’’

Ortiz was recognized for his efforts in helping underprivileged children in need of heart surgery.

“David’s remarkable commitment to helping children receive essential pediatric care in the United States and the Dominican Republic makes him a wonderful choice for this honor,’’ said commissioner Bud Selig in a statement. “The legacy of the great Roberto Clemente lives on through the selfless actions of players like David and so many of his peers.’’

Ortiz’s teammate, Tim Wakefield, received the award last season.

In 2005, Ortiz founded the David Ortiz Children’s Fund. Dedicated to raising funds to help provide children critical pediatric care in the Dominican Republic and the United States, the DOCF formed a partnership with the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in 2009 to extend its mission in New England.

In 2010, the DOCF raised more than $1.5 million, providing funding for more than 200 life-saving heart operations. Ortiz personally donated $100,000 to the DOCF in 2011.

Hamilton ailing

One of the gutsy stories at the World Series is Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton playing with a painful groin injury. Said Texas manager Ron Washington, “He’s been dealing with it for about a month and a half, and he’s come up big for us and I expect him to do the same.’’ . . . Washington said he’ll start Matt Harrison in Game 3 tomorrow and Derek Holland in Game 4 Sunday . . . The Cardinals’ 3-2 win Wednesday earned an 8.7 rating and 14 share on Fox, which was down 2 percent from Game 1 of last year’s World Series.

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