Earlier this week, the 2016 All-Star Game turned into The David Ortiz Show as the slugger played in his final Midsummer Classic. Ortiz is retiring after the season.
While speaking to reporters after the All-Star Game, Ortiz said the Red Sox should sign Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion after the season to take over as DH. He also advocated acquiring Marlins ace Jose Fernandez. Here are his comments, via CBS Boston:
"The Red Sox know that they need to reinforce the middle of the lineup," Ortiz told reporters after his 10th and final All-Star Game. "And sorry Blue Jays, but who better than Encarnacion to do that?"
"He has incredible stuff," Ortiz said of Fernandez. "I thought he was gonna end up playing with me this year. I mean, you never know. I want him in my starting rotation. I mean, we need a little bit of help and hopefully that happens at some point, who knows?"
Encarnacion said it was "unbelievable" to hear Ortiz say he should take over as Red Sox DH once he retires. "I feel great because people like David Ortiz are thinking about me like that," he added.
Unfortunately for Ortiz, players are not allowed to talk about players under contract with other teams in that way. He can't say he wants the Red Sox to go out and acquire so-and-so. Team executives are not allowed to do that either.
As a result, MLB is expected to investigate Ortiz for tampering:
Major League Baseball is expected to look into David Ortiz's comments re. Edwin Encarnacion. Players subject to tampering rules as r execs.— Jeff Blair (@SNJeffBlair) July 14, 2016
It's not often we see a player or executive disciplined for tampering. The punishment is usually a fine, not a suspension or anything like that.
Ortiz's comments were fairly innocent, and I don't think they were intended to persuade Encarnacion (or Fernandez, for that matter) to join Boston at some point in the future. If MLB sees it differently, they'll hit Big Papi in his wallet.