When I was looking at the quotes from that David Ortiz article this morning I just knew someone would take the “I don’t get no respect” part out of context and make it look like Ortiz was going on a “me, me, me” rant. That someone was Kirk Minihane of WEEI:
I sometimes wonder if David Ortiz is legitimately delusional … [his greatest hit] has always been the no respect card. He’s played it time and time again over his career with the Sox and broke it out for another spin on Monday night … The Sox have won nine of 11 games since the meeting and it sure seems that Ortiz would like a couple of attaboys for showing a little initiative … Maybe he’s a leader on this team and maybe he isn’t, but he’d be best served to keep hitting and leave his greatest hit on the shelf.
In context, however, it was pretty clear that the exact opposite was true. He was surprised and not pleased that the story of the closed-door meeting he held got out. He said “I don’t give a [expletive] about anybody knowing what we talk about, No. 1. And No. 2, I don’t give a [expletive] what they call leaders.”
That he then went on to talk about the curious nature of what people consider leadership in Boston does not make him an attention-seeker. Rather, it seems like he’d not play the game at all if he had the choice, but if asked, sure, he’s gonna say what he thinks about it.
But if all people get from his comments are “I don’t get no respect,” he probably shouldn’t bother saying anything at all.
The Dodgers have pulled off their first blockbuster trade of the offseason, sending Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson, Adrian Gonzalez and cash considerations to the Braves for Matt Kemp, per announcements from both teams. The Braves are set to designate Gonzalez for assignment on Monday, making him a free agent.
Kemp, 33, had a down year with the Braves in 2017, hitting a career-low -0.5 fWAR in 115 games with the club. At the plate, he slashed a modest .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and a .781 OPS through 467 plate appearances, but was hampered by a nagging left hamstring strain through most of the season. This will be his 10th campaign with the Dodgers.
Whether or not Kemp can rebound during his second stint in Los Angeles is almost beside the point, however. The deal is effectively a salary dump to end all salary dumps. Offloading multiple one-year contracts for McCarthy, Kazmir and Gonzalez should bring the Dodgers back under the $197 million luxury tax threshold and position them to make a run at some of the big fish in next year’s free agent pool. It’s also worth noting that they may not keep Kemp around for long — per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the club appears as likely to flip the veteran outfielder as they are to use him. As for the Braves, they not only rid themselves of the $43 million due Kemp through 2020, but added some rotation and infield depth with McCarthy and Culberson and can now give top prospect Ronald Acuna a legitimate tryout in left field.