Ortiz reaches milestone with No. 400

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Ortiz reaches milestone with No. 400

OAKLAND -- In a perfect world, David Ortiz would have been able to celebrate his 400th career homer in style, following a Red Sox victory.
But wins have been in short supply for the Sox, who finished a seven-game road trip to the West Coast Wednesday with a dispiriting 3-2 loss to the Oakland, taking some of the shine off the achievement.
"It was in a good situation, tied the game,'' recounted Ortiz of the solo shot to right to lead off the fourth inning off A.J. Griffin.
But in the moment, Ortiz couldn't find much joy in the honor, even if he became only the eighth active player to reach the milestone and moved him into 49th place all-time on the homer list.
"Right now, not really,'' said Ortiz when asked if the homer felt special. "I'm just trying to play the game and try to keep on producing for this ballclub. I'll just try to keep on rolling.''
In time, Ortiz acknowledged, the homer will be appreciated in its proper historical context. But Ortiz, 36, intends to keep playing for several seasons. With the benefit of hindsight, the homer will someday mean more to him.
"I know at some point,'' he said, "when I'm not playing baseball, I might look at it from the outside and be like, 'Whoa -- I guess I had a good career.' But right now, it's just another home run that you put up there.''
There's something about facing the A's that makes for milestone homers for the Red Sox. Ortiz is the third Red Sox player in history to hit No. 400 against the A's. Ted Williams hit his 400th against the Kansas City A's and Carl Yastrzesmki hit No. 400 against Oakland, too.
Ortiz's cell phone was buzzing throughout the afternoon with texts and messages of congratulations from other players in the game. He estimated that he received "30 or 40.''
In his next at-bat following the historic homer, the A's public address announcer pointed out that Ortiz had reached the milestone two innings earlier, earning Ortiz a length ovation from the fans as he tipped his helmet in appreciation.
"That was pretty cool,'' he said of the reception. "You get something like that done on the road and people really appreciate it, it's (nice to get) appreciation.''
When he connected off Griffin, Ortiz had a pretty good idea that No. 400 had arrived. During the seven-game trip, he had hit a handful of balls to the warning track, but understood this one had the distance.
But after going six games without hitting a homer, he wasn't worried.
"To be honest with you, I wasn't worried (about when it was going to come),'' he said. "I was just swinging like a normally do and not trying to do too much.''
His teammates greeted him when he returned to the dugout and shared in the celebration.
"That was awesome,'' gushed Cody Ross. "Everyone was just waiting for it. It seemed like every pitch, he had a chance to do it. Once it went in the air, there was just a sigh for him, especially for him, just to get that weight off his shoulders. I'm just so happy for him and proud of him.
"It's a huge accomplishment.''

Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

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Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.

"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' 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."

No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .

. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.

Not so.

 

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.