In case you weren’t aware, David Ortiz has retired.

David Ortiz. (WEEI.com)

David Ortiz. (WEEI.com)

In case you weren’t aware, David Ortiz has retired.

The designated hitter has really bad heels/feet/lower legs, as was described by the man, Dan Dyrek, who helped keep him together for that final season.

But still, we have to execute a seemingly weekly exercise of wondering if Ortiz will magically reappear for 2017.

Well, he’s not. And the past two days, we were allowed a pair of reminders that nothing has changed.

First, prior to the Boston Baseball Writers’ Dinner Thursday night, Red Sox manager John Farrell did his best to punctuate the conversation.

“Oh yeah, he’s retired,” Farrell said. “There’s no fake tweets. No blank tweets. Whatever those might be, I don’t know. Yeah, we’re not waiting for David to walk through the door.​”

And then Ortiz offered what might be construed as a hint that he is still trying to remain in playing shape, a video of him working out. But if you turn on the audio, he can be heard saying, “I’m not a player anymore.” So there you go.

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A video posted by David Ortiz (@davidortiz) on

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Prior to the Boston Baseball Writers’ Dinner Thursday night, Red Sox manager John Farrell rattled off which of his players he believed would be participating in the World Baseball Classic.

Starting pitchers David Price, Rick Porcello and Chris Sale? Nope.

Pablo Sandoval. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Pablo Sandoval. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Prior to the Boston Baseball Writers’ Dinner Thursday night, Red Sox manager John Farrell rattled off which of his players he believed would be participating in the World Baseball Classic.

Starting pitchers David Price, Rick Porcello and Chris Sale? Nope.

Eduardo Rodriguez? We’ll see. The lefty was slated to get his right knee checked in Boston this week, with a decision being made after the diagnosis.

Closer Craig Kimbrel remains a maybe, with Sandy Leon, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts all choosing not to play.

Definitely playing will be Xander Bogaerts and Hanley Ramirez.

All of the decisions really didn’t come with any surprises. But then there was one: Pablo Sandoval.

According to Farrell, the third baseman is considering playing for his native Venezuela in the upcoming WBC. Considering Sandoval is coming off a serious shoulder injury, and he has to still compete for the starting job at third, such a scenario wasn’t really on anyone’s radar.

“I think that’ll probably garner more discussion because those three weeks, the potential of those three weeks in a situation where you’re competing for a job is important,” Farrell said. “We don’t want to stand in a player’s way if there’s not a pending health situation. Granted he went through a shoulder surgery last May. Still, that would be in discussion if that were to come up.”

Farrell confirmed that despite the optimism surrounding Sandoval, thanks in large part to the wave of Instagram posts has offered throughout the offseason, he will still have to prove his worth heading into 2017.

“Compliments to Pablo, he’s done a great job with the work he’s put in, the commitment he’s made,” Farrell said. “He’s reshaped himself, that’s apparent. He knows there is work to be done to regain an everyday job at third base. So, we’ll see how that unfolds. We’re not looking for him to be someone he’s not been in the past. Return to that level of performance. That’s the reason he was signed here. We’ve got a versatile team as well. In the event, we have to find what the best matchup is for us, whether that’s Brock Holt, Josh Rutledge — the beauty of last spring is that there’s a note of competition in camp. That was born out of third base last year and that won’t change.”

Sandoval did participate in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

A lot has been made of the window of opportunity the Red Sox may have. Within the next 3-4 years, the foundation of the team will see their contracts expire, leading to some intrigue when it comes to the possibility of extending certain deals.

Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts will be facing some tough contract decisions the next few years. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts will be facing some tough contract decisions the next few years. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

A lot has been made of the window of opportunity the Red Sox may have. Within the next 3-4 years, the foundation of the team will see their contracts expire, leading to some intrigue when it comes to the possibility of extending certain deals.

One of those players who will continue to be a centerpiece of the conversations regarding possible contract extensions is Mookie Betts.

Betts is heading into his final year before becoming arbitration-eligible, having just finished second in the American League MVP voting. Considering he is entering the same service time Mike Trout did when he inked a six-year, $144.5 million extension just before the start of the 2014 regular season, the idea that the Red Sox and their outfielder might have had some talks is a very legitimate road to go down.

But, according to Betts, there are no signs any kind of extension is in the works.

“Not a peep. Not a peep. Nothing at all,” the 24-year-old told WEEI.com at the Boston Baseball Writers’ Dinner Thursday afternoon when asked if his representatives have had any contract discussions with the Red Sox.

Would it be something he would like to push for?

“Nah. Not right now,” Betts explained. “One year at a time. One year at a time and we’ll go from there. I’m going to go year by year and worry about one year at a time. Just go out, win and kind of keep my focus there.

“There are so many different views of things. I know what me, my parents and my agents talk about. We have one view and I don’t want to have three or four different views on that thing. I just want to have one view and kind of stick to it.”

And that one view is …

“One year at a time,” he reiterated.

As for one of the other 24-year-old foundational players on the Red Sox roster, Xander Bogaerts, he continues to keep his intentions close to the vest when it comes to the possibility of an extension. When asked if his agent, Scott Boras, has had talks with the team, the shortstop offered, “I would definitely say I’m looking forward to next year.”

Bogaerts recently agreed to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration in his first year he was eligible for the process. That leaves him with two more offseasons of arbitration-eligibility before having a crack at free agency following the 2019 season.

“I haven’t even played my first arbitration year. I have two more years to go. Maybe after that first year I’ll be like, ‘Oh crap, I have only two more years.’ But I still feel like I’m at the minimum right now. But I haven’t got it so I can’t tell you that feeling,” said Bogaerts, who was also attending Thursday’s event.

“I like the city, and I enjoy my time here, but in the end if you go out there and do your job to help the team win, anything can happen. If you go out there and play well, the team will see that and maybe you can get something done. If not, we’ll see what happens. I know I enjoy my time here, I like it here and I have three more years here. I’m looking forward to it.

“You see numbers every day. Offseason is the time where you see everybody signing, and a few extensions here and there. It all depends. In season you probably don’t want to talk as much. So offseason is probably the best time. I just know I have two more years here, for sure, if they don’t get rid of me. If you play good, there are a lot of things that are possible. It’s on me to go out there and perform.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

If you’re wondering who gave Jason Varitek two votes for the Hall of Fame, we have half our answer.

Jason Varitek

Jason Varitek

If you’re wondering who gave Jason Varitek two votes for the Hall of Fame, we have half our answer.

The Trentonian’s Jay Dunn made his ballot public a month ago, and in it he laid out the case for the former Red Sox captain.

“[Pudge Rodriguez’s] presence on the ballot is likely to overshadow two other first times — Jorge Posada and Jason Varitek — both of whom were catchers. Neither had Hall of Fame numbers and I don’t expect either to get a lot of support, but both of them are getting my vote. Both of them were irreplaceable cogs to successful teams.

“Posada was the backstop for a Yankees team that won five consecutive World Championships. He was one of only three men to play as a regular on five teams. I doubt that streak would have occurred if the Yankees had a different catcher.

“Varitek was the catcher when the Red Sox won championships in 2004 and 2007. He was an iron man on both teams, [catching] almost every game not started by knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Probably no one, not even David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez, had more to do with the success of those teams than Varitek did.”

Dunn is sure to be mocked and ridiculed for his selection, but here’s why I think such outlier votes should be embraced as part of the selection process.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Jason Varitek was a great player for the Red Sox, but not a Hall of Famer. (Greg M.</p>
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Curt Schilling may never get into the Hall of Fame, but his status as a right-wing icon only grows with each lost vote. The end game is no longer getting a plaque in Cooperstown. Instead, it’s martyrdom.