Ortiz last survivor of Boston's 2004 champs

Youkilis' departure leaves Ortiz as last man standing

Author: By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jun 26 2012 06:08:20 PM EDT

David Ortiz knows that eventually he will meet the same fate as Kevin Youkilis. Like it or not, his Boston Red Sox career will come to an end.

But when it does, Ortiz hopes his last days with the team won't be nearly as messy.

"We have no control over it," Ortiz told the Boston Herald on Monday before hitting two home runs in the Red Sox's 9-6 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. "All you really can do is just play baseball and be happy that people still want to come and see you."

On Sunday, the Red Sox traded Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox for utility man Brent Lillibridge and minor league pitcher Zach Stewart. It ended a nearly two-month stretch in which Youkilis clashed with manager Bobby Valentine and spent three weeks on the disabled list with a lower back strain, then got phased out as the everyday third baseman by rookie sensation Will Middlebrooks.

"I know that he wasn't in a very comfortable situation," Ortiz told the Herald. "But at the same time, things always happen to make the team make decisions, and sometimes they're good decisions, sometimes they're bad decisions. The teams are the only ones that know later on how it works out for them."

Youkilis' departure leaves Ortiz as the last man standing from the Red Sox' curse-busting 2004 World Series champions.

But will Big Papi return next season?

Last winter, Ortiz ended his free agency by accepting arbitration and returning to the Red Sox on a one-year, $14,575,000 contract. It's likely he will reach the free agent market again after this season, and once again, his top priority will be attempting to secure a multiyear deal.

Ortiz is doing his best sales job, too. He belted his team-leading 19th and 20th homers Monday -- Nos. 397 and 398 of his career. Ortiz also leads the Red Sox with 52 RBI, and he is batting .304.

"When you see a guy that you played with for a long time going to another team, it kind of hits you a little," Ortiz told the Herald. "I got here one day. I'll get out another day. When that's going to be, I don't know. You just know it's going to happen."