David Ortiz: ‘Hell no’ I don’t want to play more first base

David Ortiz has no interest in playing more first base.
Rich Gagnon/Getty Images Sport

By Zack Cox

David Ortiz has lined up at first base in two of the last three Boston Red Sox games, and the results have been positive. The Red Sox have won both, and Ortiz has fielded his position without incident.

So, does that mean the 39-year-old designated hitter would be up for flashing the leather on a more regular basis?

Um, not exactly.

“Hell no,” Ortiz told reporters after Wednesday’s 6-3 win over the Miami Marlins, via the Boston Herald. “I’m too old for that, man. I like doing my focus on hitting. I haven’t played first base in too long.”

He’s correct about that last part. Before this week, Ortiz hadn’t played first in a non-interleague game since 2006. But everyday first baseman Mike Napoli’s ongoing struggles at the plate have forced manager John Farrell to get creative with his lineups.

Triple-A call-up Travis Shaw started Tuesday’s game at first (and relieved Ortiz as a defensive replacement late Wednesday), and Farrell said outfielder Daniel Nava will take some reps at the position during his current minor league rehab assignment.

All-Star utility man Brock Holt also is an option once Dustin Pedroia returns to his usual post at second base. Pedroia is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday.

Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored in Wednesday’s win. Farrell did not rule out the possibility of him seeing more time in the field before next week’s All-Star break but said no such plans have been made.

“I know that these past couple of days, they want to make the lineup look different or whatever,” Ortiz told reporters. “But I know my boy (Napoli) is going to bounce back and do what he normally does. It’s just a matter of time.”

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