David Ortiz talks Friday from his celebrity golf tournament. (WEEI.com)
PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic — How could you tell David Ortiz has been immersed in his annual celebrity golf tournament to raise money for the former designated hitter’s foundation? He hadn’t heard the news about Rob Gronkowski.
“That’s not good,” said Ortiz when informed of Gronkowski’s back surgery. “Actually, you know what, yesterday I was going through my [phone] and I saw like three photos of him and I just look at it. I received a phone call when I was looking at it, and I never got to read anything.”
But Ortiz had been caught up on some other notable events, such as the presidential election, (“Who didn’t follow all that? Taxes are going to be good, for sure,”) and the series of tweets from Justin Verlander’s fiance, Kate Upton, after Rick Porcello beat her significant other in the American League Cy Young race, (“Seriously. Damn! You know, you can’t just have people hating you because of somebody else. You know what I’m saying? Like, man, I don’t know how they’re going to play it out next year, but I don’t think that many things are going to go in your favor.”)
As for Ortiz’s foundation, which the annual event raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for, that was clearly the host’s priority.
“I’ve been busy. I’ve been doing so many things. That’s me. I’m always doing things here and there. This event, it’s a big event so I want to make sure everybody is happy. The most important thing is these kids,” he said.
“The one thing I want to do with all you is bring you guys to the hospital to see what we do for real. I went to the hospital two days ago, and trust me, every time I walk into the hospital it’s like a new experience. We have so many kids going through situations. The heart don’t play around. You have to make sure everything is OK, and that’s what we do here. It’s like a challenge for me every year, and a motivation at the same time because there’s people who really need what we do. I’m up to the challenge, I’m going to tell you. You guys know me.”
There were other more Red Sox-centric baseball matters that Ortiz did discuss Friday.
ON THE POSSIBILITY OF PLAYING IF RED SOX OFFERED HUGE, ONE-YEAR CONTRACT
“To what? To talk [expletive]?”
ON IF HE WAS SURPRISED THE RED SOX DIDN’T OFFER HIM ANOTHER DEAL?
“No, not really, because I made myself clear, you know? It’s not about the money. It’s how you feel. I’m old, man.”
ON HOW HE FEELS PHYSICALLY
“Well, when I’m not doing all the running and all the crazy stuff that I do, inflammation starts going away, starts feeling better than usual. But the training and everything it takes to get prepared to play a season is when things get complicated. I’m done with it, man.”
ON IF HE IS GOING TO SPRING TRAINING
“I don’t know yet. Probably. I don’t know. I’m into so many things right now that I don’t know if I’m gonna be there. I don’t have it on my schedule right now but who knows, sometimes I can get bored at some point and show up for a couple of days, who knows?”
ON IF HE HAS IDENTIFIED A JOB HE WILL BE DOING WITH THE RED SOX
“Not yet. [Dave Dombrowski] approached me the other day. He asked me whenever I’m ready for it they’re down with it. The Red Sox always want me to part of the organization and some point I definitely will because you guys know I love that organization. That organization is part of what I am, and I’m always going to want the best for the organization. It will come at some point.”
ON HANLEY RAMIREZ PLAYING BOTH FIRST BASE AND DESIGNATED HITTER
“I think it’ll be good to have him playing both sides of it. Give him some days off with the DH and playing at first base. He did a great job last year at first.”