Call David Ortiz whatever you want, but you can't call the man a pessimist.
Just months removed from his toughest year in a Red Sox uniform, the DH is not just looking ahead to a solid 2010 — he's looking to 2013.
"The Red Sox know what I am, even knowing what happened last year," Ortiz said on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan Show on Wednesday morning. "Iâm a guy that, I put a lot of enthusiasm into what I do, and itâs up to them. Iâm trying to say that I would like to end my career here. I would like to play three, four more years, and I would like to finish that with the Red Sox. Itâs up to them. I canât control that."
Ortiz's current contract includes a team option for the 2011 season for $11.75 million. Ortiz knows that even with his hefty resume, he'll have to prove he can still be a feared hitter. He also said that Theo Epstein's message following the Red Sox' abrupt postseason exit in October wasn't necessary.
"Let me tell you, Iâm a grown-up man," Ortiz said on the show. "I know what my job is all about. I just turned 34, and I know what it takes to perform at this level. Nobody had to tell me what to do, because Iâve been doing this for years. My 12-plus years in the league … Iâve been hanging around this long in this league, itâs because I already know whatâs up. Theo has to do his job as a GM, and I believe that he did. In my viewing point, I donât see that as something negative. I see that as, Papi, we want you to be healthy and prepared to play next year, so get ready."
Ortiz also said that even at his worst last year, he never had any doubts that he'd bounce back.
"Never. Nope. Never. I was going through a bad time, but it was never over for me," he said.
Though Ortiz indicated that the media was quick to question his age and bat speed last spring, he said he always appreciated the reception he got at Fenway.
"The fans were great to me," he said on WEEI. "The fans have always been amazing to me in Boston, and theyâve always supported me. I remember, I had an ovation when I hit my first homer [on May 20] like Iâve never had before. I mean, it was unbelievable. Iâll always thank the fans in Boston. They know how much it takes for us to get prepared to play the game and they know how much we care, especially myself, about going out there every game and trying to do something to entertain them. The fans understand that, and thatâs why as long as Iâve been here theyâve supported me, especially after a year like last year."