Ortiz reaction to 7th 100-RBI season? Vindication

Ortiz reaction to 7th 100-RBI season? Vindication
September 26, 2013, 12:45 am
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(AP Photo)

DENVER -- Hours before he stroked a first-inning, two-run double to right field in Coors Field, marking his 99th and 100th RBI of the season, David Ortiz was asked about the significance of reaching such a milestone.

"Just numbers,'' shrugged Ortiz. "But it's good. It looks good.''
      
It marked the seventh time that Ortiz had reached the century mark in a Red Sox uniform. In franchise history, only Ted Williams (nine seasons) and Jim Rice (eight) had done it more often.
      
Back in March, when he was struggling to rehab an Achilles injury that dated back to last July, reaching the 100-RBI mark hardly seemed like a foregone conclusion.
      
Still, rather than reflect on the acheivement at 37, or overcoming the injury, Ortiz spoke with some bitterness over the reaction of some who questioned the Red Sox' two-year, $26 million deal given to him last November.
      
"I'm unpredictable,'' said Ortiz.
      
When a reporter offered that Ortiz was, instead, very predictable, that he was good for 100 RBI most seasons when healthy, Ortiz countered.
      
"No, I'm not,'' said Ortiz. "I'm not predictable. Because every time the Red Sox have to sign me, a lot of people gotta talk [stuff]. So, basically, they don't know what I'm capable of doing, you know? I'll keep it that way, keep it entertaining.''
      
Asked if he felt some satisfaction in backing up the deal with another fine season, Ortiz said: "I always back it up. As long as I've been playing here, I've always backed everything up.''
      
In spring training, Ortiz said, personal goals weren't part of his thought process.
      
"My mentality was just to get back in the game as soon as possible,'' he said. "I wasn't thinking about numbers. Numbers will always be numbers and that's what people pay attention to. But I think, today, what people  need to pay attention to is, what kind of heart did you play with? Because that will give you what you need at the time.
      
"Right now, you see a lot of injuries, guys shutting it down, things like that. It goes with what kind of soul you have, what you want to give to the game, what you want to give to your fans, more than anything else.
I think that's what people need to [look] at more than anything.''
     
In the closing days of the season, Ortiz said his troubled heel is "fine.''
     
"One day, you might get a little sore,'' said Ortiz, "and the next day, the pain goes away, you feel better. It depends on how much you ran the day before. But I don't think about any of that. I played [Tuesday] and [Wednesday]. It's not something I'm worried about.''
     
With the regular season almost behind and his health fine, Ortiz is looking forward to next week when he'll play his first playoff game since 2009, having watched the last three postseasons as an observer.
     
"That sucked, man,'' he said. "I'm telling you right now. Since I started going to the playoffs, toward the end of my career in Minnesota and then I came here...we went to the playoffs in '03, '04, '05, '07, '08 '09...
     
"After my first year here, I didn't start planning things until November, because I wanted to make the playoffs part of my schedule. And not being able to go. Last year was bad. Especially with the year we had here and I'm dealing with an injury and I didn't know when I was going to be good to go. It was a lot of things at once. And the funny thing is, the playoffs are longer than ever when you're not in [them].
     
"But knowing you're going to the playoffs, it's great," he said. "I prepare to play baseball all the way through until the last game. And here we are, and I'm more than happy."