The skill of Investing in the business world is one that takes an immense amount of knowledge and work in order to become successful. Investing in the world of professional sports is a whole different monster that requires enormous amounts of money, an ability to be able to work hand in hand with players and their agents, and have knowledge of what it takes to build a continuous product that will keep fans interested while simultaneously being a thriving figure in the business world. The “Brain trust” (the puppet masters John Henry, Larry Lucchino and Tom Warner for those who do not know) has more money than they know what to do with as they have built an empire Bean town in their last 10 years. Breaking the 86 year old “Curse of the Bambino” with their World Series victory in 2004 headlines there business portfolio and adding a second title in 2007 enhanced their street credentials that much more. However, with the good most definitely comes the bad. Countless mistakes have been made with this triumvirate regarding big contracts being handed to players that either did not pan out or did not deserve them ( Julio Lugo, Edgar Renteria, J.D. Drew, Daisuke, John Lackey, Carl Crawford….. the list continues but must stop here in order to allow my readers not to go blind.) One player in particular has been here for the entire time that Henry and Co. has been in power doing nothing but produce at the highest level along the way. That man is David Ortiz.
In Wednesday’s game against the Oakland Athletics, Big Papi continued his torrid pace hitting his 22nd homerun of the year which was also his 400th of his storied career. Unfortunately for the Red Sox Brass and devoted Nation fans, the rumblings that came from David Ortiz’s mouth after the 3-2 loss were boisterous to say the least. Ortiz told the USA Today that this off-season’s negotiations with the team were “Humiliating” and “Embarrassing” He then went on to make what I feel is a very good point that needs to be discussed by saying that this ownership has had no problem dishing out hefty contracts to free agents before knowing what they will truly do for your organization. Ortiz has seen the likes of Carl Crawford, John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka and J.D Drew (to name a few) get long term deals for millions upon millions of dollars while he has been forced to play on a more year to year basis. Over the last decade, he has been one of the most feared hitters in the entire league averaging 36 HR and 117 RBI over a 162 game span in his career. Numbers such as these warrant a big payday which is where things start to get a little confusing. Although his latest quarrels and qualms have been about not being treated properly in regards to getting a long term deal, he has not exactly been underpaid while wearing a Red Sox uniform. Ortiz has made over $83 million dollars in his 16 years in the Bigs making at least $12.5 million/yr in the last 6 seasons. Something that should also be looked at in favor of the management was their willingness to stick with their smiling face of their franchise when he was in the midst of steroid allegations in 2003 when the dreaded Mitchell Report was showcased for the world to see. Gauging how much he is truly worth on the open market is something that is easier said than done, but what is evident is no other team was willing to fork up 10 plus million dollars for the slugging lefty when he hit free agency at the end of last season. The reasoning behind this is because the downside that comes with David Ortiz is he is completely one dimensional. Calling his skills at first base average would be more generous than not making him very unattractive to National league teams which therefore limits him to the bigger market teams of the American league who are willing to carry a guy than can do nothing but stand in the left handed hitting batter’s box. What he is doing at the age of 36 is something that very few could have predicted (.302 AVG, 22 HR, 55 RBI, 35 Doubles) 81 games into the 2012 season. I was one of the voices that did not want Ortiz back over the offseason because of his limited abilities and high price tag but he has proved me and many others wrong. Consistency has been something that has severely lacked with this entire Red Sox squad in the first half of the season, but Ortiz’s name is not one that can be used in that conversation. He is an example of an absolute conundrum right now when looking at his situation from a far. He is prospering in the fact that his production and value have been showcased constantly making him very marketable to the Red Sox and more importantly other teams across the league. He is also a failing investment at the same time because due to the ownerships lack of commitment to Ortiz for the long term, it’s looking more and more likely that this might be the last year the Nation will be watching Big Papi in a Red Sox uniform. They have irritated Ortiz in such an extensive manner that it seems his breaking point has been finally reached. A happy ending is not something that seems logical at this point in time for Both David Ortiz and The Boston Red Sox.
About the Author
Written by Jefferson Mills
I am a 22 year old aspiring sports journalist. I graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and was born and raised in Norwood, MA, twenty minutes south of the great city of Boston. Sports consume my life in every which way as I have been an athlete since the age of 8 playing organized football, baseball and basketball throughout high school and have been an avid die-hard Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics fan. I Interned for the "Mecca of Sports Radio" WFAN 660 AM while in college and also interned for News 12 Long Island. Working as a member of the hardest working sports department in one of the most talented college radio stations 88.7 FM WRHU is the one thing I am most proud of when it comes to my work in the field. My passion and work ethic define who I am as a writer, person and friend which is why I hope to become successful in the sports Broadcasting spectrum in years to come.