Boston Red Sox: David Ortiz Won’t Participate in the Home Run Derby

Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

Though it would surely add some more memories to his final season, Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is passing on the Home Run Derby.

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz is having one of the best final seasons in the history of baseball. He has been a joy to watch so far, and he’s a lock to start in the Midsummer Classic at Petco Park this July. With 3.4 million votes, he is currently leading the AL in voting at his position. However, he will not be participating in the Home Run Derby.

The slugger hasn’t participated in the event since 2010 in Los Angeles, where he won, beating out Hanley Ramirez by mashing 32 home runs. Though many want to see him do it again and continue his terrific send-off, he will be denying us of that.

He had this to say about the July 11 event: “No. No, because I have so many things going on over there when I go. It’s going to be crazy. The Home Run Derby wears you out. I would like to, but I’ve got so many things lined up. It’s too much.”

More from Call to the Pen

With all of the circumstances, one would think Ortiz would be all for it. He is currently slugging  a career high .678, albeit it’s not even the All-Star break. To top it off, he has hit 18 home runs. He considered it, but it seems as though age played a role in his decision as well. He also said, “It takes everything out of you, because you don’t take any cheap swings. Everything has to be powerful. You definitely have to be in your 20s to do it.”

He also took into account that the approach that you take in the event may alter your swing for the second half of the season, though it didn’t seem to slow him down too much in 2010, when he hit 13 second half homers to give him 32 on the season.

Sox manager John Farrell offered his own thoughts on the situation: “If it turns out he doesn’t participate in the Home Run Derby, I think that’s probably music to all of our ears, but at the same time, he’s earned the right to enjoy and experience that opportunity in San Diego as much as anyone.”

Next: Time to trade Clay Buchholz?

Ortiz currently leads the majors in OBP (.433), SLG (.678), OPS (1.112), and OPS+ (188). As much as everyone would love to see him dominate the Home Run Derby like he is dominating baseball, he might be making the right choice. With Ortiz’s age, and it being his last season, it may be smart for him to abstain from the derby. Though, no one can deny it would be very fun.