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Big Papi’s big finish with the Boston Red Sox

Posted by Betonline team on 9/23/2016 1:52:39 AM
Big Papi’s big finish with the Boston Red Sox

The career of the loveable and unflappable David Ortiz is winding down.

But he is not going out with a whimper or showing fans all the flaws of an old man. Rather he is walking out the door with the greatest season for a 40-year old man. At last glance, he is hitting .316 with 36 home runs and 121 RBI’s. Now it is adding speculation that Ortiz could come back for another season after announcing in the spring that he was hanging up his spikes.

That’s not happening. He told The Boston Globe that he is unwilling and unable to prepare for seasons like he has in the past. The man can play, the question is does he want to battle injuries in the off-season and prepare for 2017?

The answer is no.

“I wish I could continue playing, but it takes a lot out of me to prepare for the games every year,” Ortiz said. “I’ve been dealing with things the last four years and it gets worse, you know what I’m saying? And so I have to put a lot of effort and a lot of work to play at my highest level out there. At some point, it wears you out.”

The final act has been a terrific one. However, it is one filled with pain and suffering just to get onto the field. He is spending a lot of time in the training room these days.

“I play in a lot of pain,” he said. “I’ve been taking a lot of anti-inflammatories and stuff to get through it. We have good doctors and training staff, and they work hard with all of us, but it is what it is. Like I say, I love this game and this game is my everything, but it’s not forever.”

Big Papi still enjoys the game and interaction with fans. Recently he hit a long fly ball in Baltimore and was taunted by an Orioles fan as he approached the dugout. Ortiz motioned that he just missed it by inches. Ortiz hit a home run during his next bat and gestured back as if to say "I told you so.”

His 36 home runs are the most by an MLB player during his final season, surpassing the 35 that Dave Kingman hit in 1986. But Kingman hit just .210 that season.

Ortiz doesn’t regret retiring. He might regret making an announcement before the season. That has added to interview request and tribute ceremonies at opposing ballparks. That adds to the workload for him.

When asked if he thought things would be so demanding he said “No clue.”

“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 fans what matters most, the opportunity to watch me play for the last time.”


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