By Art Martone
David Ortiz says he's not used to being platooned and wants to go back to playing every day -- and is willing to leave Boston to do so -- but his first priority is getting out of an early season slump that, for the second year in a row, has choked off his production.
In an exclusive one-on-one interview with Comcast SportsNet New England's Jessica Moran that aired Friday night on SportsNet Central, Ortiz said, "My mindset right now is to change things around. And I know this ballclub counts on me a lot and I got to bring it back . . .
"I'm a team player. I'm a team guy. I try not to be selfish."
But he also said that his playing status is "something that, at some point, has to change."
"It's not easy. I'm not going to lie to you," Ortiz told Moran about being platooned. "It's something I guess I got to get used to for a while . . . but, to tell you the truth, you don't get 100 percent out of me. It's hard to stay sharp like that . . . "
When referring to "100 percent," Ortiz was referring to results and not effort.
"That's what I'm used to, you know," he said of playing regularly. "That's what I'm used to. And that's how I get out of trouble. Playing, and seeing pitchers, and seeing the ball and swinging at it."
It's clear Ortiz expects to go back to playing regularly if he begins hitting again, and would ask to be traded if his status didn't change.
"Well, if you don't play here, you got to play somewhere else. That's how it goes," he said when asked if could see himself playing in another uniform. . "Hopefully not. This is my life right here, but what else can I say? . . .
"I want to finish my playing time here," he said. "I love this town, I love the people around here, I love the fans, everybody . . . But you know how this goes. Sometimes it doesn't work, sometimes it's not what you expect, sometimes people aren't happy with what you do, and things change."
But one thing that hasn't changed: His belief in himself.
"Oh, yeah," he said with a laugh when asked if he still had something left in the tank. "Oh, yeah."
Art Martone can be reached at email@example.com.