David Ortiz on Home Run Derby: ‘I’m done with that’
Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has been a fan favorite in the Home Run Derby for several years. Ortiz won the event with 32 total home runs in 2010 and has always provided the fans with some monstrous big flies and comic relief. Unfortunately, it appears we have seen the last of Big Papi in the competition.
On Wednesday, Ortiz said he would decline the invitation if American League team captain Robinson Cano asked him to participate.
“If he asks me to do it? I wouldn’t do it. I’m done with that,” Ortiz told WEEI.com. “I can’t do it no more. I can’t even do it in batting practice. Watch me in batting practice, I might lose a couple of balls but that’s it. I can’t do it. It wears me out. Wears me out. And you know the Home Run Derby (can’t) be taken lightly. You have to be young with a lot of energy.”
Young, he is not. At age 37, Ortiz has reached a point in his career where his health needs to be a top priority. He is off to a tremendous start to the 2013 season, and Boston is hoping that will continue after the All-Star break. Despite missing the first 15 games of the season, Ortiz’s power numbers still rank near the top of the AL with 13 homers, 48 RBI and a .608 slugging percentage.
The last thing Papi needs is to aggravate his heel or any other injury that has nagged him over the past couple of seasons. Without Ortiz in the middle of their lineup, the Red Sox offense would struggle tremendously. Taking a pass on the Home Run Derby is probably a wise decision. Sorry, Bobby V. — no Jose Ortiz this year.