FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Ortiz arrived in Red Sox camp Wednesday morning, giving the team a full complement of players three days before the first full-squad workout scheduled for Saturday.
After hugs, handshakes, and quintessential-Ortiz off-color greetings for players, staff, and media, Ortiz met with reporters for nearly a half-hour, touching on a plethora of subjects, including the horrific end of last season and the possibility that Ortiz would not return this year.
Asked if that would have been a difficult ending to his legacy with the Red Sox after winning two World Sereis, being a seven-time All-Star, finishing in the top five in MVP voting five times, setting the team single-season home run record Ortiz replied:
I didnt think about it because I think I did my job last year. I would have thought about that if things had gone down the way they did. My year wasnt bad last year. I was really upset because the way we finished and all the opportunities we had through the season and to just be behind by one game. All the chances we had for the season and winning games and those games walking away from us. I just didnt blame one game. I didnt blame everything on one game but the history of the whole season and everything coming down to one game. Everybody was focusing on one game but there were a lot of games we let go during the season.
We should have been on top 10 games and not being away from the playoffs because of the one game. Because like sometimes youre playing teams like Baltimore who were packing to go home. So youre playing with a lot of pressure and theyre not playing with any. And you wind up getting beat because of that. You want to be perfect in everything you do so you can win that one game and it doesnt work that way. Ive been saying that for years.
On the other hand you have a lot of opportunities to win ballgames and for any reason that doesnt happen and then you have to face the situation. I think after the season last year I was real depressed. I was so ready to go to the playoffs and it didnt happen. I remember at one point in the season I said this is the best ballclub Ive ever been on. So when youre playing that good in July and August, me personally, in my mind I was in the playoffs. Having the drop that we had, and moving forward to the end of the season when you know youre running out of chances, that wears you out.
I was like having all this stress and all the pressure that we have to win to go to the playoffs, thats pressure you have to bring to the table. After all, it was like, man, it was very disappointing. At one point I was like, Lets move on and theres nothing you can do about this year. Youve got to pull yourself together and do damage the next year.