Is the end of a Red Sox legacy just around the corner?
Say it ain't so David Ortiz.
Yesterday Ortiz, long time designated hitter, spent time with Gordon Edes of ESPN contemplating his future and was faced with the question as to whether he is nearing the end at 39 years old?
"What can I tell you, man?" Ortiz said. "A lot of people looked at me like that [six] years ago, and here I am still. I don't have no timetable for [retirement]. I don't think anybody has it, either. If it happens, who cares, man, I'm just another player that comes in and comes out. Everybody's time is up at some point. I don't think that's my problem, though. I'll keep on trying like I normally do."
This comes around at a time when Ortiz is slumping, badly and deeply slumping at the plate. Last week he was given back-to-back games off to try and straighten himself out.
Looking back now at the first two months of the season, Ortiz has a batting average of .224 and just .154 (6-for-39) in his previous 10 games. That is last out of seven qualifying DH's (Jimmy Paredes, Baltimore Orioles leads with .312). His OPS is .692, sixth out of seven qualifiers (Paredes leads with .853).
What was owner John W. Henry's response when asked if he was concerned that Ortiz might be in decline?
"The guy is, he's the best hitter I've seen for the Red Sox for a long time," Henry said. "He's not in his prime and he's not going to hit 50 home runs. But is he going to hit 30? It doesn't look like it this year. Is he getting older? Yes. But I don't think any of us know [when it ends]. I talked to him yesterday. He's upbeat about his swing. We'll see."
The coming month of June will be telling for Ortiz and more so for his detractors. If there is no upswing on his performance, then we are talking about a steep decline that warrants action to correct the offensive weakness at DH.
Many have written off Ortiz before and he has proven them wrong time and again.
He has earned the benefit of the doubt, don't you think?
Eric is a contributing writer since 2013 and a true Overseas Fan of the Boston Red Sox living in the Netherlands. He's spent years on baseball fields around the world pitching. His weekends are now spent helping the next generations of pitchers to find their passion and love for the sport. More articles by Eric: https://www.redsoxlife.com/search/label/ericschabell