Aside from maybe Tom Brady, David Ortiz has been the most influential and fun player to watch in Boston sports. Unfortunately, his reign of terror is coming to an end after this season, and given the way he's playing, a lot of people hope that changes.
Ortiz' numbers are great for any player, nevermind a 40-year-old in the final season of his long career. He is currently hitting .311 and leads the hard-hitting Red Sox offense in doubles (16), home runs (10) and RBIs (33). With the production he is giving this team, Ortiz leaves a lot of people questioning his decision to retire.
In Ortiz' case, I believe the decision to retire goes a lot deeper than his ability to perform. If it were strictly by the numbers, we would most likely have a few more years of #34 as DH. However, if you use the eye test when watching Ortiz, it's clear that preparing himself for a baseball game everyday is a struggle.
Ortiz has had some issues in the past with his achilles heel and it's starting to show. Although he has never been known for his speed, Papi seems even slower than normal this season. He is being thrown out at first by 4 steps, and doesn't bother to run all the way to the base.
It's clearly visible that Ortiz is in some pain when he runs, and it seems he's had just about enough of it. As of now, the pain isn't enough to slow down the production, which is the reason fans are questioning the retirement.
So, even with the great numbers, Ortiz wants to call it quits while he can still walk. We've also witnessed many athletes retire after a miserable season, and Ortiz can avoid that by retiring after this season. We will never have to witness a mediocre David Ortiz, he will retire as one of the greatest Boston athletes ever, while still playing that way.
By Matt Watts