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Ortiz and Red Sox agree on contract extension

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Ortiz and Red Sox agree on contract extension

Postby WebHamster » Fri May 21, 2004 5:00 pm

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox and designated hitter/first baseman David Ortiz agreed on a two-year contract extension Friday. The deal, which includes a club option for 2007, was announced during an afternoon press conference at Fenway Park.

Ortiz is batting .261 with 10 homers and 31 RBI in 40 games this year. Last season, his first with the Red Sox, he hit .288 with 31 home runs and 101 RBI. He also finished third in the American League in 2003 with a .592 slugging percentage.

"It's a great situation, especially when you're still young, when you get a chance to play for a winning team, to have an opportunity to win the World Series," Ortiz said. "It's a great feeling. It's something you don't want to ask more than that."

The 28-year-old Ortiz said he was influenced a bit by teammate Pedro Martinez to sign his contract extension. Earlier this season, Martinez publicly criticized Red Sox management and said he would explore free agency after the season. But judging from what Ortiz said on Friday, the three-time Cy Young Award winner just may be back in Boston after this season.

"He told me that he loved Boston and that he'd like to end his career here in Boston," Ortiz said. "He told me that twice actually. He told me that before I first signed with the ball club and he told me that a couple of days ago."

According to Ortiz, Martinez told him the best move he could ever make is sign with Boston and stick around. Ortiz, Martinez and Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez are all natives of the Dominican Republic and are considered a major part to the success of the franchise.

"He loved the attitude from the people here," Ortiz said of Martinez. "He loved how everything's going on. He told me as a player, when you talk about our background, that's where you want to be. That's the kind of situation you want to face. 'I recommend that you may want to go and do your thing, stick around with this ball club, because there's a lot of hope in this ball club.'"

Ortiz spent the first six seasons of his major league career with Minnesota and owns a lifetime batting average of .270 with 99 homers and 370 RBI.

Shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, pitchers Derek Lowe and Scott Williamson, catcher Jason Varitek and infielder Pokey Reese can also become free agents for the Red Sox after this season.
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