David Ortiz cites contract distractions

As the Boston Red Sox face a looming deadline to decide whether to pick up David Ortiz's one-year, $12.5 million option for 2011, the slugger reiterated that his preference would be for a multiyear contract extension, telling WEEI.com he would not be comfortable with a one-year deal because of the "roller coaster" season he just went through.

The 34-year-old Ortiz struggled through a deep April slump for the second straight season before bouncing back to finish with 32 homers and 102 RBIs.

Along the way, though, he grew tired of those questioning whether his days as a productive hitter were at an end.

"I just want to cut out all the crap and go back to the guy I was before, a happy guy who doesn't have to be answering questions that have nothing to do with anything but controversy. I just want to be able to play baseball and have fun, like I used to," Ortiz told WEEI.com. "That's where I came back to not wanting just one year, because I know it's going to be just the same thing.

"As soon as you struggle for a week, it's going to be the same thing. People saying you are old, saying you have no bat speed anymore. People talking all kind of crap. It's hard to avoid that because it's all over the place. You're a regular human being just like everyone else. It's not like you're in a cage, locked up and you come to the field and that's it. It's not like we don't watch TV, listen to the radio, read the newspaper. We are all connected to that stuff, especially here."

Before the end of the regular season, club sources indicated to ESPNBoston.com that the Red Sox were inclined to pick up the one-year option, something that clearly would not sit well with Ortiz.

The Red Sox have until three days after the World Series to pick up that option, a deadline that could come as soon as the middle of next week.

Ortiz said earlier this week that the two sides will meet next week to discuss the situation.

"To tell you the truth, like everybody knows, I want to be back, and I want to be here for a longer period of time. I'm just a little worn out because of the negativity that I've dealt with the last few years," Ortiz told WEEI.com. "I don't think there's any baseball player that can deal with all the distractions that I deal with and play baseball. It's hard. I'm not a superhero. I'm just another human being, like everyone else. I've got feelings. I want to give this team another World Series, and dealing with all the other crap with people telling you you can't do it no more, or this and that, I have no room for that. Hopefully next week we'll sit down and make everyone happy."

Ortiz, who has spent his last eight seasons with the Red Sox, first announced his preference for a multiyear deal over the Red Sox picking up the single-year option in comments to ESPNBoston.com in mid-July, just before winning the Home Run Derby in Anaheim.