Ortiz's Retirement Draws a lot of Similarities to Seinfeld
Evan Marinofsky Contributing Writer
After watching all of the All-Star festivities this week, I've come to an easy, yet difficult conclusion to come to terms with: David Ortiz retiring is almost the exact same thing as how the sitcom Seinfeld ended.
Out in San Diego, it seemed as though every question asked centered around whether or not Ortiz would retire. Even though he's a close friend, Pedro Martinez of MLB Network can't envision Ortiz retiring at the end of this year, and he's not alone in thinking that. Of course every time Ortiz was faced with a question involving his retirement he immediately said he is going retire at the end of this season.
By retiring, Ortiz is a genius in that he wants to go out on top. He doesn't want to be like Alex Rodriguez who will most likely go out as a bum; the largest of fathers wants to go out with his .320+ batting average and his 40+ home runs.
And this is where the connection between the greatest clutch hitter of all time and the greatest TV show of all time takes place.
Seinfeld lasted 9 seasons. Almost everybody at the time agreed that the show should have kept on going instead of ending when it didn't really have to be ended. But co-creator Jerry Seinfeld knew from years as a stand-up comedian that you need to end things when they're good. He has said that the comedian-type instinct that hits during a set to end it hit him around the time of season 9. He wanted the show to end on a high note and be remembered for how great it was rather than be remembered as that show that was good at one point, but ended badly.
(July 11, 2016 - Source: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images North America)
If Ortiz were to change his mind and not retire at the end of this year, he wouldn't necessarily play bad these next few seasons, but he wouldn't be doing as well as he is in 2016, either. When he's 42 and 43, a lot can change and even Ortiz has said that his body hurts. If his body hurts now, think of what it would feel like 2-3 years down the road if he kept on playing.
This is similar to Seinfeld in that Seinfeld knew his hit-show was starting to leave its prime and enter into the end-game. It was becoming obvious, at least to him, that the show would become less and less fun and therefore less and less entertaining to others. It was an instinct only he had. But as time has gone on, we've come to realize why he ended the show despite its success.
Seinfeld will always be remembered as one of the best and most successful television shows of all time. Ortiz will always be remembered as one of the best sluggers and greatest clutch hitters of all time.
It's a weird comparison, I know. But it's also one that has helped me realize why Ortiz is retiring and what a good decision it actually is. I hope it does the same for you.
Serenity now, my friends. Serenity now.
Follow Evan Marinofsky on Twitter for all of his Red Sox thoughts and opinions: @emarinofsky