BOSTON -- When he’s standing on baseball’s biggest stage, Red Sox veteran David Ortiz understands he’s going to be pulled in a million different directions.
At the time of the year when he should be solely concentrating on beating the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, beginning with Game 1 Wednesday night at Fenway Park, Ortiz understands his role as an ambassador of the game.
In the days leading up to the Series, he’s been doing countless interviews and shooting promos in two languages. When the Red Sox finished their workout Tuesday evening, Ortiz grabbed his batting gloves, first baseman’s mitt and Red Sox hat and exited the dugout at Fenway Park.
“I’m done, bro,” he said.
Time to focus on baseball.
This will be Ortiz’s third trip to the Fall Classic with the Red Sox, including 2004 and 2007. He's the only player that's been on all three World Series teams.
“It never gets old, man,” he said. “I’ve been blessed because this is my third one, but it never gets old. You always want to be here. You always want to be a winner. It’s an honor for me to be back with the same organization. It’s something that doesn’t happen to too many of us.”
Each of the three Red Sox teams to reach the World Series in the last decade has had a different identity. All Ortiz cares about is the end result.
“In ’04 we had a lot of guys that knew the game, a lot of talent,” Ortiz said. “Right now we probably don’t have as much talent, but we have guys with big hearts, guys that want to play and make things happen.”
At age 37, Ortiz is done trying to prove people wrong. In 2012, he was limited to 90 games due to an Achilles strain, but still signed a two-year contract worth $26 million during the offseason.
“If that doesn’t happen it wouldn’t be a challenge,” Ortiz said of the adversity he faced a season ago. “People are always going to talk trash, you’re never going to make everyone happy. What you do is just come in and do your thing and those people can shut the hell up. In my case, I’m done with what people have to say. I’ve proven myself more than anyone else in this organization and for a long period of time.”
His baseball career changed when he signed with the Red Sox in 2003. He should be a Hall of Famer, but before he gets to Cooperstown he would like to win another World Series for Boston.
“I’m proud to be here and representing this organization that I’ve been a part of for the past 11 years,” he said. “I’m happy and proud to be here.”