At 84-64, the Red Sox sit in first place in the AL East and have a 98.9 percent chance to make the postseason, according to SportsLine. That means there are 14 regular season games plus at least one playoff game remaining in David Ortiz‘s career.
As you know, Big Papi announced his plans to retire way back in spring training. He can still play at a high level, obviously, but the day-to-day grind of the 162-game season is getting to be too much for his 40-year-old body. Ortiz is going out with a bang this season, that’s for sure.
Now that the season is winding down, Ortiz is starting to have second thoughts. Not about retiring. About announcing it before the season. All the interviews and ceremonies have meant a lot of extra work throughout the season. From WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford:
“No clue,” Ortiz told WEEI.com when asked if he had any idea the demands would be like this prior to the season. “But if I knew I would have probably announced it after the season. But it’s all good. At least we’ve been able to give the fans what matters the most, the opportunity to watch me play for the last time.”
“No, I haven’t, which I think is totally related to how well he’s performed this year, and also how accommodating he’s been to the media,” said Red Sox media relations director Kevin Gregg when asked if he has seen anything like the amount of requests given to Ortiz this season. “The thing with him is that it’s not just local media. It’s local, national and international. It’s been a ton.”
I know this sounds silly, but all those extra interviews and meetings and ceremonies can be a real drain. Every day and every city bring new commitments. It’s a lot to handle. Yes, being a famous baseball player is great and comes with a lot of perks, but Ortiz hasn’t really had a day off this season. There’s something to be done each and every day. Those commitments will only increase in the postseason.
The good news is Ortiz is a pro at handling this stuff by now. And, obviously, it’s not hurting his performance on the field. He comes into Sunday hitting .318/.404/.627 (164 OPS+) with 47 doubles, 34 home runs, and 116 RBI. They don’t have farewell tours for nobodies. Ortiz is giving folks a lot to talk about in his final season.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Here’s why David Ortiz is second-guessing his retirement announcement