Now that the big guy is signed, we should acknowledge that he played through relentless distraction and discord, as well as injuries. He stood with management to quell clubhouse chaos  and never pointed the finger at Valentine or anybody else during this forgettable baseball season.

In all this, he never wavered from his desire to retire as a Red Sox player, which is quite a mission, given the unraveling of the team over the last twelve months. Papi may be all that is left of the heroic team that wiped out the competition in 2004 and 2007, but he is quite a pillar. Better yet, he is foundation for the next two years.

David Ortiz has proven he has everything it takes to lead: calmness, concentration, loyalty, and determination in the clutch.  He is worth more than his contract, but it is a reasonable contract, like the man himself.



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