For most of the past two weeks, David Ortiz [stats] has been here, under the sun in his native country, preparing to host his annual celebrity golf event to raise money for children who need medical care. So, consider this a long-distance thumbs-up from Big Papi to Red Sox [team stats] general manager Ben Cherington. On the eve of his weekend-long Caribbean party, Ortiz endorsed the Sox' moves this week to bolster their lineup by reaching agreements on twin, three-year, $39 million contracts with free agent first baseman/catcher Mike Napoli and right fielder Shane Victorino. Napoli is expected to be introduced in a Fenway Park [map] press conference today, while Victorino's deal is still pending the formality of a physical. "Yeah, man, we're getting good players," said Ortiz, the recipient of a two-year, $26 million contract extension last month. "That's what it's all about. That's how you win games." In particular, Ortiz is excited by Napoli, a slugger whom he has admired for years. Of course, it's been nearly impossible for any of the Red Sox not to notice Napoli, who batted .288 with 15 home runs, 33 RBI, a .379 on-base percentage and a 1.075 OPS against them in his career. Ortiz appreciates Napoli's power. Not since Adrian Beltre in 2010 have the Sox had a right-handed hitter with at least 25 homers to provide a middle-of-the-order complement to lefty-swinging Ortiz. "Power is hard to find right now," Ortiz said. "Whenever you get a power hitter, you've got to keep him. In today's day, Napoli is one of those guys. And of course, you need guys that are game-changers, and he's one of them. It's going to be fun to watch. It's going to be fun watching Napoli hit balls over the Monster."
David Ortiz pumped up over Sox moves
Boston Herald | Dec 7