Red Sox Can’t Let Ortiz Retire

David Ortiz came through again in Saturday’s 10-9 loss to the Blue Jays, swatting a go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth before Craig Kimbrel blew the save. With each game that goes by it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Red Sox can’t let Ortiz retire after this season.

Ortiz is not only the best hitter on the Red Sox, but also one of the best hitters in baseballRed Sox Can't Let Ortiz Retire. He currently leads the majors in doubles (23), RBI (46), slugging (.720), OPS (1.146) and total bases (121). He’s having arguably the best year of his Hall of Fame-caliber career, and he’s a huge reason why the Sox are in first place.

While Big Papi has said repeatedly that this season will be his last, the Red Sox can’t let Ortiz retire. He’s too important to the team. His bat, leadership skills, and postseason experience are irreplaceable. It’s noble that he wants to walk away on his own terms, but Red Sox management has to do everything in its power to stop him.

How can Boston change its designated hitter’s mind? By offering him more money than he can possibly refuse. Every man has his price, and the Red Sox have the resources to blow Ortiz away. They could double his current salary of $16 million, which would make him the MLB’s richest position player next year. Most of that would be funded by Clay Buchholz’s $13.5 million team option, which Boston seems unlikely to sign if his move to the bullpen becomes permanent.

Ortiz has played for a long time and made a lot of money, but offering him a nice payday should make him reconsider. He’s been paid below market value for most of his career, so it would mean a lot to him to have one of the three highest salaries in baseball. If Ortiz equates dollars with respect, he’d have a hard time saying no.

Ortiz Celebrations Overdone? Not So Much

The worst argument of all-time: “They’re doing anything for a buck.” I’ll defeat that argument right now: We all are. You’re no Sherlock Holmes if you determine that a for-profit business wants to make money. This discussion has come up a lot lately on Yawkey Ortiz celebrationsWay. The Red Sox in the home-opener against Baltimore Monday, April 11, began what will be seven months of David Ortiz celebrations. The Red Sox are honoring, pretty much serenading, the slugger who’s playing in the last of his 20 Major League Baseball seasons.

They’ll have themes for upcoming games, all kinds of apparel and are sure to do dozens of events and marketing campaigns around the slugger’s swan song season.

My take: So what?

You hear the cries from the fellowship of the misery in and around Yawkey Way: “This is too much.” “They’re all about the money.” “Even Yaz didn’t have this.” The naysayers think they’ve cracked the code on the Red Sox and ownership: They just care about making a buck and filling the seats.

Farewell Tour: Are the Ortiz Celebrations Too Much?

Guess what? You’re right. This is a business. They do marketing. They practice commerce transactions. The sell tickets. They want revenue. They care about other things outside the baseball diamond. If that means leveraging the face of their brand as often as possible this season, I say go for it. Call it overdone, over the top.

The fact is, most Red Sox fans will eat up each and every Ortiz celebration. They’ll buy the T-Shirts and bobbleheads. They’ll post pictures in hashtag campaigns.This is called customer engagement.The Red Sox are smart. They have a great marketing and events team (I recently interviewed one of their events executives).

I say let them do their jobs. And let the Ortiz good times roll, flyovers, bobbleheads and all.