Producing at an All-Star level at age 40 is difficult enough for a major league ballplayer. Doing so amid the unrelenting media attention of a retirement tour is even tougher.
That’s something David Ortiz is just now realizing.
The Boston Red Sox designated hitter told ESPN Deportes on Sunday he regrets letting the public know beforehand that this season would be his last.
“I’m too busy. I have too many things to do. I barely have time to do anything,” Ortiz said after the Red Sox’s 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park. “It’s very difficult for me. If I had even imagined that it would be so difficult, I wouldn’t have announced anything. There are too many people I have to pay attention to, and on top of that I have to prepare for a game.”
Don’t take those comments as second thoughts from the Red Sox slugger, though. Even though Ortiz entered Monday as the major league leader in doubles, slugging percentage and OPS — and ranked in the top four in home runs, RBIs, batting average and on-base percentage to boot — he sounds like a man who knows it’s time to hang ’em up.
“I would love to play a couple more years because this is what I know, and this is what I like to do and you see how people treat me,” Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. “But unfortunately, when your body tells you it’s enough, it’s enough.
“You have no idea the magic I have to do to play ball every day. Well, actually it’s not magic, it’s work. Magicians do a trick and only fool you for a little while until you figure it out. It’s work; working hard in the cage every day. Hard work is the only thing that gives you consistency in this game. Nothing else.”
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images