David Ortiz is 39 years old and off to a terrible start this season, hitting just .219 with six homers and a .673 OPS in 51 games, but the Red Sox designated hitter insists he’s not “washed up.”
Here’s what Ortiz told John Tomase of WEEI.com:
I’m not washed up. I guarantee you that. I can wake up and hit, bro. That’s my nature. I’m not washed up. … I was asked on camera the other day if I was washed up. And I pretty much didn’t react to it, but I thought that was very disrespectful.
You don’t disrespect people like that, you know what I’m saying? I’ve come a long way, and everyone knows my status, and to come and wipe it in my face just because things are not going well right now, I don’t think the question was fair. That tells tells me how things are around here. People forget too fast, and I don’t think it’s right.
Ortiz has been an amazing player in Boston for 12 seasons, so naturally he thinks being asked if he’s “washed up” after two bad months seems disrespectful, but when a 39-year-old’s production plummets for any length of time it’s just as natural for people to wonder if it’s more than just a slump.
Ortiz has hit .190 in his last 25 games and his OPS is down 200 points from 2014. If any slumping 39-year-old can turn things around it’s certainly Ortiz, who’s aged better than just about anyone to remain a star into his late-30s, but most slumping 39-year-olds don’t turn things around and that’s why the questions get asked.