David Ortiz‘s season has been so good that, mentally speaking, I’ve just been thinking of it as regular old in his prime Ortiz and not so much as 40-year-old, just a few weeks from retirement Ortiz. By not mentally adjusting for his age, I think I’ve been underrating his season. Because, for a 40-year-old, he’s breaking the model for performance, more or less.
The latest evidence of this: the fact that he broke the record for home runs in a season by a 40-year-old or older player. He hit his 35th in yesterday’s game against the O’s, which passes Darrell Evans’ 34, hit as a 40-year-old for the Detroit Tigers in 1987. If you’re curious, Barry Bonds didn’t break 30 in either of his last two seasons. In his 40-year-old season he hit only five due to injury.
On the year, Ortiz is hitting .317/.403/.630 with 35 homers and 118 RBI. That leads the league in slugging percentage and his 1.034 OPS leads the league as well. He’ll probably be a top 3 or top 5 MVP finisher as well.
And then he’ll retire.