Everyone should take a good, long look. The Boston Red Sox’s series against the Minnesota Twins is the closest we’ll get to seeing David Ortiz in the Home Run Derby at Target Field.
Ortiz, who launched four home runs in the first two games of the teams’ three-game series in Minnesota, said after Wednesday’s contest that he has no plans to participate in the 2014 Home Run Derby, which is scheduled to take place July 14 at Target Field.
“No, man, I’m too old for that,” Ortiz told reporters Wednesday in Minnesota. “I’m going to let the young studs do that.”
Ortiz has hosted his own Home Run Derby of sorts since Target Field opened its doors in 2010. He has nine home runs in 13 career games at the Twins’ new ballpark, and he enters Thursday’s series finale hitting .528 (28-for-53) with 22 RBIs at the ballpark.
When you consider Ortiz’s success at Target Field, his current hot streak — he’s hitting .552 (16-for-29) with five homers and eight RBIs over his last seven games — and his Home Run Derby track record, it’s somewhat disappointing that fans won’t get to see the nine-time All-Star participate in this year’s long ball contest. The Red Sox likely are happy, though, as the 38-year-old is putting his long-term health ahead of putting on a midsummer show.
“It would be too much for my body right now to walk into the Home Run Derby,” Ortiz said. “The Home Run Derby is not easy, bro. The Home Run Derby wears you out. The last time I did the Home Run Derby, I was sore for about a week. That was, what, four years ago? It wears you out.”
Ortiz has participated in the Home Run Derby five times in his illustrious career, winning the contest in 2010. The slugger was the American League’s captain in 2011 and wouldn’t mind serving in the same capacity this year, as long as it doesn’t require him swinging for the fences.
“The captain basically doesn’t have to do much,” Ortiz said. “He can be like the cheerleader of the team. I don’t mind about that.”
For now, we’ll just have to live with the red-hot Ortiz’s own version of the Home Run Derby this week in Minneapolis.