David Ortiz downplays contract talk

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz tried to downplay the controversy around his contract on Wednesday as he met with reporters at spring training in Fort Myers, Fla.

“I think we’re going to be fine,” Ortiz said after a winter in which he said several times he wants the Red Sox to extend his deal beyond 2014.

Ortiz, 38, said he has been discouraged by people who have portrayed talk about his contract in a negative light.

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“It’s just a couple of haters out there that are always flipping things around,” he said.

Ortiz, who has been with the Red Sox since 2003 and was the World Series MVP last year while winning his third championship in Boston, reiterated he enjoys playing at Fenway Park.

“I’m super happy to be here,” he said. “I’m glad to wear this uniform. The fans know I’m more than proud of performing in front of them.”

Still, he did not back away from his plea for a new contract.

“When things are going well it’s a time for you to agree on things and ask for whatever you want,” he said.

Ortiz’s agent, Fernando Cuza, said this week he intends to speak with Red Sox owner John Henry soon.