FORT MYERS, Fla. — Spring training is child’s play for David Ortiz.
Ortiz didn’t play a single spring training game last year and missed the first two weeks of the 2013 regular season, yet the Boston Red Sox’s All-Star designated hitter still managed to put together an impressive campaign that was capped by an historic World Series performance. It’s no wonder the 38-year-old wasn’t too jacked up about blasting his first home run of this spring Monday in a 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at JetBlue Park.
“It’s just another day, you know,” Ortiz said. “I think I’m getting old for spring training.”
Ortiz’s situation this spring certainly is different than what he went through last spring, when the veteran slugger was forced to work his way back from an Achilles injury that derailed his 2012 season. Ortiz is fully healthy and participating in games this go-round, which the nine-time All-Star admitted Monday has required some adjustments.
“Now, my body is used to not (having) spring training. I’m fighting through it right now to get used to it,” Ortiz said. “I think last year I had to work harder than any other year. They had me training hard every day down here (in Fort Myers). I didn’t play in games, but it was worse than playing because by the time I went home, I was worn out from doing a whole bunch of things. Once I started playing, I was good to go.
“Spring training is fun the first couple of weeks,” Ortiz continued while smiling. “After that, we get here earlier and we work out pretty much all day. At some point, it starts catching up with you, especially old guys like me.”
Ortiz hit .309 with 30 homers and 103 RBIs in 137 regular-season games in 2013. Maybe it’s time to pump the brakes this spring.