KANSAS CITY -- Former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon had some strong words when talking about the importance of David Ortiz to the Red Sox.
"I've already said, let's pay him," said Papelbon during the National League All-Stars media availability Monday afternoon. "I've said David is the Red Sox. David is Red Sox baseball. If I'm the owner or I'm the GM I pay him whatever makes him happy.
"He's different than anybody else. He's different than Ted Williams. In my opinion, he's bigger [to the Red Sox] than Ted."
Papelbon said that he wasn't surprised by Ortiz' recent comments regarding his frustration on going year-to-year with contracts and not receiving a multi-year deal from the Red Sox.
"I think it fuels him," the Phillies closer said. "He just talks about it a little bit more. David, he's an emotional guy. he puts his heart and soul into this. I find nothing wrong with what David says. I don't find … you've got a small window, bro. A small window to succeed. And what David said and what he's trying to do, I don't find nothing wrong with that. No, it don't surprise me, man.
"It's a business, baby. I get it. You know? I get what they're trying to do with David. I get it, man. It's a business. Like I said, you have a small window to do your thing in this game. I'm so happy for him, man."
With the assertion that Ortiz means more to the Red Sox than any player in the organization's history, Papelbon suggested that the team should put some stock in that cache when deciding upon the designated hitter's value.
"Yeah, I think they should weight it in," Papelbon said. "You're talking about, in my opinion … the Red Sox are not the Red Sox without him, period. I don't care what he asks for. I'm trying to make that big man happy."
For more from the All-Star Game, and other Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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