On the day Red Sox position players were required to report to camp, thoughts inevitably turned to a longtime Fort Myers, Fla., presence who won't be around this spring.
David Ortiz was a popular topic of conversation Thursday at Fenway South, but even as some Red Sox fans continue to harbor fantasies that he might have second thoughts about retirement, the DH resurfaced to virtually swat them away.
Hanley Ramirez spoke at length about his beloved former teammate upon arrival at camp, and mentioned that Ortiz "told me if he tries to come back, I'm one of the reasons he'Il come back. Because we miss each other."
Boston sports anchor Dan Roche tweeted that quote and tagged Ortiz's Twitter handle in the process, sparking an immediate flood of replies from fans hoping Ramirez had just hinted at a Big Papi comeback.
Hanley on @davidortiz - "told me if he tries to come back, I'm one of the reasons he'Il come back. Because we miss each other." #redsox #wbz pic.twitter.com/GSLWD7OKiV
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) February 16, 2017
But the man himself appeared on Twitter within 15 minutes to dash everyone's hopes, reiterating that he's "not playing baseball anymore".
Ramirez, incidentally, went on to emphasize that point, putting it as bluntly as possible to the team's fans:
"David's not coming back; he's home with his family," Ramirez said, via the Boston Globe. "All right? You got that, Sox Nation? We're going to have to do it."