David Ortiz thinks the Red Sox need another 30-home run hitter and bullpen help in order to get them back to championship form next season.
Ortiz spoke to reporters at the Absolut Club House at Fenway Park this morning promoting his new charitable golf tournament — the David Ortiz Celebrity Classic (Dec. 4-7) at the Punta Espada (Dominican Republic) Golf Club. Ortiz is quite passionate about the tournament, which will raise money for the David Ortiz Children’s Fund to help children who need heart surgery in New England and the Dominican Republic. More than 40 children were helped by the charity last season.
Ortiz said he hopes to draw several celebrities to the tournament, including Yankee foes Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera, as well as other high profile Dominican players like Vladimir Guerrero and Alfonso Soriano as well as other Sox teammates and Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera.
“I’m trying to get Manny to come,” quipped Ortiz.
Ortiz said about needing more pop in the Sox lineup, “I think so, especially in our division the pitching is improving a lot. And next year, let me tell you, you’re going to have to face a lot of good pitching. The Yankees are going to be better, those guys in Tampa have good pitching and you never know what can happen.”
He added, “I think we need a few guys in the bullpen and a 30-home run guy and we’ll be all set.”
Ortiz said his wrist is feeling fine and rest should heal it all the way. Right now, no surgery is in the offing.
“I had inflammation at the end of the season. You stop swinging and take a month, rest, and give it time,” Ortiz said.
He said of his injury-filled season, “It’s crazy man. It’s part of the game. It’s something you can’t control. The only thing I can control is what time I got to sleep. That’s it. After that there aren’t many things I’m gonna control.” He admitted that he got into a lot of bad habits and swung at a lot of bad pitches, which he hopes a healthy wrist and outlook will solve next season.
Asked whether he thought of Mark Teixeira as a possibility he said, “I haven’t really thought about it. We got Mikey [Lowell] and Youk [Kevin Youkilis]. Mikey has had surgery so you don’t know what’s gonna happen; hopefully he’ll go back out there healthy. You definitely need to find another guy who can produce here.”
Ortiz said he was surprised when he heard that Matt Holliday had been dealt from Colorado to Oakland.
“Yeah,” he said. “Problem is that guys on the trade line they’re always gonna go to the teams with the young players.”
Will the Yankees spend a lot of money and regain their swagger?
“I don’t know, but I know something crazy is going to happen out there,” Ortiz said. “I know they’re going to do something because of the situation they are in right now. That’s why we need to get stronger too.”
Ortiz, who said he’s waiting to hear back from Ramirez on whether he’ll participate in the golf tournament, doesn’t believe the former Sox slugger will end up in New York.
“I don’t think so. I never heard Manny talking about that. I would think he’d stay in the National League,” Ortiz said. “He did really good. He really liked it out there.”
Asked whether he thought the Sox would have won the World Series with Manny, Ortiz smiled and said, “I don’t know. Probably. Probably not.”
“I’ll leave it up to you guys.”