‘Tired’ Ortiz still has wide-awake bat
In what’s become a regular scene, David Ortiz stepped into the dugout, preparing for batting practice, when a team staff member asked if he was ready.
Not far away, a group of fans waited to be brought in, eager to chat briefly with Ortiz, take a photo and wish him well.
In Big Papi’s final season, everyone who comes to Fenway Park wants their chance to say goodbye — and it’s taking a toll on the Red Sox’s larger-than-life designated hitter.
“(I’m) very busy (and) kind of tired of it, a little worn out,” Ortiz told the Associated Press before the Royals beat the Red Sox 10-4 on Sunday night.
Nearing the last month of his 20th regular season, Ortiz at times wishes he hadn’t announced this would be his final year. The baseball season is long and hard enough, and this goodbye grind is more than he anticipated.
“My job is kind of tiring,” he said. “I have to get lined up to (do) different things — adding more to it is a lot. I’m really busy and not getting to enjoy things.”
Of course, no one would know that by the way he’s hitting. The 40-year-old Ortiz hit his 534th homer Sunday, a solo shot that tied him with Jimmie Foxx for 18th on the career list.
He’s batting .319 and leads the Red Sox with 31 homers and 101 RBIs, reaching 30/100 for a club-record 10th time. Hall of Famer Ted Williams is next on the list with seven.
Ortiz’s season has been so good, many around the majors have said the slugger should come back for a 21st year.
At last month’s All-Star Game in San Diego, Angels star Mike Trout said, “I don’t think Big Papi is going to retire. I keep telling him that. With those numbers, I wouldn’t.”