SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- David Ortiz says that he is happily retired from baseball and that despite rumors to the contrary, his decision will not change.
"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes.
The 41-year-old slugger said that for the first time in more than two decades, he is not physically preparing to play baseball this offseason.
"Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow,'" Ortiz said "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 former Red Sox DH batted .315 with 38 homers and led the American League in doubles (48), RBIs (127), slugging percentage (.620) and OPS (1,021) last season. He was sixth in the AL MVP voting and made his 10th appearance in the All-Star Game.
After Ortiz enjoyed such a strong final season, many fans, especially in Boston and the Dominican Republic, were hoping for Ortiz to return -- either with the Red Sox or to represent his homeland in the World Baseball Classic. Ortiz, however, says he is working to adapt to his new life as a retired player.
"It's early, but I'm in the process," said Ortiz, who hit .286 with 541 home runs, 632 doubles and 1,768 RBIs over his career with the Red Sox and Minnesota Twins. He won three World Series titles with the Red Sox.
When asked who should be next in line to take Ortiz's title as the Dominican Republic's marquee name, he said he wouldn't dare to make a selection.
"It's a process, it's not something that happens overnight," Ortiz said. "There are a lot of people who are doing a good job and they are getting stronger, but they need to keep gaining experience and doing things well, on and off the field."