David Ortiz has big plans for the 2016 season.
The Boston Red Sox designated hitter wants to go out with a bang in his final Major League Baseball season and help lead the team to what would be his fourth World Series win. And Ortiz thinks everyone should know that his impending retirement doesn’t mean he’s packing it in.
“I’m still hungry,” Ortiz told reporters Tuesday in Fort Myers, Fla. “I was going at it this offseason just to come in and have another good season. And I’m going to be pushing my teammates the best I can, as best as possible, and as far as I know, see if we can accomplish what we are looking for.”
And if you have any doubts about Boston’s chances at hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy, then let Ortiz hear it now, because he says the detractors motivate him.
“Me, I’m a big fan of underdogs,” Ortiz said. “… The team that wins the World Series in today’s day especially is not the one that has nothing but superstars. It’s the one that has a good balance, a little bit of everything, guys that come in and out and give you something so you can walk home with a W.”
But for Big Papi, going out on top wouldn’t just put in exclamation point on his career. It would mean a lot to him to give back to the fans who made him feel at home.
“The first thing I noticed was, the first time I ever played at Fenway Park, they made me feel like I was playing back in my country because of everything around you,” Ortiz said ” … Walking into Fenway feeling the grass, feeling that summer heat, feeling everybody on top of you, feeling everybody watching you, knowing how much our fans suffer every time we lost a game. … That’s how we are.
“We live for the game. We love the game. We support the game, and Red Sox fans, man, they’re just like it. It was easy for me to adjust myself to our fans. I pretty much — every time we lose a game I suffer, just like them.”
Thumbnail photo via Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz reacts to a hit during the third inning in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.