David Ortiz has caused a few stirs this winter by hinting at a return to baseball, but he is putting those rumors to bed.
Over the years, retiring from sports and staying retired has been a difficult thing to do for many athletes. David Ortiz was this year’s candidate to join Brett Farve, Michael Jordan, Manny Ramirez, and Roger Clemens among the ranks of athletes who just couldn’t quite hang ’em up. Ortiz walked away from the game of baseball this year after one of the finest seasons ever by a hitter over the age of 40, leaving many hoping he would reconsider his decision.
“My playing time has already expired,” Ortiz said in the interview.
“Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, ‘I’ll play tomorrow,’” Ortiz continued. “Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency.”
The main reason Ortiz chose to retire after his age-40 season was declining health. Indeed, during the regular season, running the bases appeared to be difficult for the lumbering DH. Foot and ankle problems have been bothering him for years. Legging out 48 doubles in 2016 was a feat of superhuman strength for Ortiz if you have watched him over the years.
That Ortiz batted .315/.401/.620 with 127 RBIs in his farewell season makes it difficult for many Boston Red Sox fans to accept that he is serious about retirement. Big Papi hasn’t exactly helped, already posting once on Instagram this winter about a comeback. Just last week, he sent a mysterious blank tweet at the Boston Globe’s official account. Ortiz has not sent a tweet since that cryptic shot in the dark nearly a week ago.
For now, Ortiz appears completely set on the fact that his body cannot handle the rigors of a 162-game schedule, but never say never. If the calendar hits July and the Red Sox are in need of a little extra DH help, it may not be that difficult to convince Papi to dust off the spikes for one more run at a World Series title. Crazier things have happened in baseball.