Tanguay: In the end, it didn't matter . . . and Papi knew it

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It's hard to imagine David Ortiz dogging it and ducking out on his team in Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees. Papi likes to whine and complain, but he's always been there for the Red Sox. In other words, his grandmother -- unlike Manny Ramirez's -- hasn’t died at least four deaths.

Maybe this time it was different.

Maybe David Ortiz decided it wasn’t worth it. The Red Sox are done, and he knows it, so maybe he took the doctor’s note and went home with a boo boo in his throat.

Maybe he knew the Yankee bullpen was superior to the Red Sox' and that his contribution in Sunday’s game would be meaningless, or at least not enough to win. (Of course, now that we know they only lost by two runs, we know Papi -- even if he was sick -- could have made a difference.)

Then there's the theory that once Ortiz saw his name penciled in at first base he was out of there, doctor’s note or not. I can see Ortiz’s point about playing first base, especially if Hanley Ramirez is at DH. Papi must think, “Why should Ramirez DH when I've been a Hall of Famer at the position for the past 11 years? If I have to play the field, why shouldn't Hanley have to play the field?" Of course, putting Ramirez at first would be the best solution but that would make Hanley grumpy and baseball people tell me it's too difficult a move to make during the season. Baloney. It’s not that hard.

Anyway, I don’t really know how Papi felt on Sunday, but I find it hard to believe he couldn't have kept an IV in his arm and stayed in the clubhouse in case his bat was needed later in the game. If that game really mattered to Ortiz, he would have told the docs to shove those instructions to go home and made his way into the lineup.

But he didn’t. Because he knew it just wasn’t worth it.

Unfortunately, he was right.

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