The day after either Red Sox ownership or Theo Epstein leaked a whole bunch of clubhouse stuff to the Globe, members of the Red Sox continue to distance themselves from the 2011 collapse. Enter face of the franchise, David Ortiz, talking to ESPN:
Longtime Boston Red Sox slugger and free-agent-to-be David Ortiz spoke about the possibility of signing with the AL East rival New York Yankees during an interview Wednesday with ESPN's Colleen Dominguez, after expressing frustration with the state of the Red Sox, who've seen manager Terry Francona and general manager Theo Epstein leave in the wake of the team's September collapse.
"There's too much drama, man," Ortiz told Dominguez in reference to the Red Sox. "There's too much drama. I have been thinking about a lot of things. I don't know if I want to be part of this drama for next year."
"That's something I gotta think about," Ortiz said. "I've been here on the Red Sox a long time, and I've seen how everything goes down between these two ballclubs."
"It's great from what I hear," Ortiz said of the Yankees. "It's a good situation to be involved in. Who doesn't want to be involved in a great situation where everything goes the right way?
When the Red Sox organization wants information to get out, they go through the Globe. There's a reason Bill Simmons' friend JackO refers to the Globe as the Boston Pravda. When Papi wants something out, he goes through one of ESPN's latin reporters. In the past, it's been Enrique Rojas; this time it's Colleen Dominguez.
So this isn't some gotcha moment where somebody caught Ortiz at a down moment. I'm willing to bet that Papi sought out Dominguez, or at the very least was not disappointed that she contacted him. Consider the timing. Ortiz's consistent demands for a long-term deal -- for, what, three years now? -- have been just as consistently ignored. Long-term deals with old guys didn't mesh with Theo's style, and Ben Cherington is unlikely to be different.
And now there are fewer voices in the organization that have Ortiz's back. His long-time manager is gone. His clubhouse doesn't appear to have much fondness for anyone. And based on yesterday's propaganda, it sounds very unlikely that other members of the old guard Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield will be back.
Prepare yourself for the departure of Ortiz, in addition to Tek and Wake. The team made its attempt at damage control yesterday (and made everything worse); now Papi is making his.
It's PR 101: He (or his agent) knows it's unlikely the Sox will want him back, so he's taking control of the story, saying he might not want to come back. The further away he is from the way September played out, the better. He'll surely look better to teams in the free agent market if he separates himself, and leaves willingly, than if he's considered part of the problem and is shown the door.
The only question is, will he wear a Popeye shirt at his introductory press conference in the Bronx?