BOSTON — David Ortiz has heard the chatter all year.
As he continues to compile hits, home runs and RBIs, the Red Sox’s designated hitter has been asked continuously if he really plans to retire after this season.
But Ortiz already made his decision last November, announcing on his 40th birthday he’d retire after the 2016 campaign. And while that decision has allowed him to embark on an incredible farewell tour, not everyone agreed with the timing of Big Papi’s announcement — including his own father, Americo Enrique Ortiz.
“I was in the Dominican Republic when he announced (his retirement) here in the States,” Ortiz’s father said in the Red Sox’s clubhouse Saturday afternoon, through a translator. “But if I was here, I would have told him not to announce his retirement — just because there are so many things that could happen in a season, or you might have a change of heart after the season. So, if I were here, I would have told him to kind of stay neutral so that his options were more open.”
It’s easy to second guess Ortiz’s retirement — how can a guy with MVP-caliber stats just call it quits? — but the 40-year-old slugger’s constant battle with sore feet have made it clear another season isn’t in the cards.
And even if Ortiz’s father wasn’t on the same page as his son last November, he certainly supports Big Papi now.
“I haven’t told him anything like that about why he’s retiring, because I know it’s coming from him, and it’s his decision,” Ortiz’s father said.
Enrique Ortiz even got a first-hand look three years ago at what kind of pain his son was dealing with.
“When I look back to 2013, I remember coming here to the field and I see him with what looks like two casts on his feet,” he said. “And I’m like, ‘What’s happening to my boy? Did he get into an accident or something?’ And what he told me was, ‘This is how your son is making this money — doing all of this stuff before a game.’
“So, it’s not a surprise to me (that he’s retiring).”
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images