David Ortiz has never been named MVP, but he’s been one of the best hitters – if not the best hitter – of his generation. The three-time World Series champion is having an unbelievable final season, hitting .332 with 22 homers, 72 RBIs and a .426 OBP.
Ortiz has now hit 20+ homers in 15 consecutive seasons, while his .332 average would tie a career high.
“(He’s) been so phenomenally consistent as he’s gotten older,” former MLB player and manager and current Sacred Heart University athletic director Bobby Valentine said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “He’s a really strong guy. He’s of the strongest people I’ve ever been around, and he’s one of the best hitters. He can take batting practice on the left-field line whenever he wants it and the right-field line whenever he wants it and not a lot of big guys can do that. He loves the game of baseball and he’s having a spectacular year. Many people are going to say it can’t be his last year if he’s going to play at this level, but let’s just say it is a spectacular year.”
Ortiz, 40, is adamant that this is his last season – mainly because of the preparation he requires just to play every day.
“Well, in David’s case, because he’s such a big guy, there’s a lot of wear and tear on his legs and knees,” said Valentine, who managed the Red Sox in 2012. “He’s in the training groom. He does a lot of work, exercise and gets a lot of treatment. There’s a few hours of day where he’s just confined to a little room on the road or a little room in Boston trying to feel good enough to go out there and give a great performance. I could see that that is a problem for a player. Other guys kind of come out and run a couple sprints and they’re ready to play, especially the young guys. You don’t face that preparation situation until you get after 35 years old and later and things start breaking down on you and you have to do the prep work before you do the real work.”