It wasn’t long ago when the words “toast” and “washed-up” were used to describe Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.
Many fans and critics were quick to judge Ortiz following his 2010 campaign when he finished the season with a .238 batting average and a .794 OPS. Hitting just one home run through the first two months of 2010, many believed that the end was near for him.
For the next few seasons, Ortiz, Theo Epstein and the Red Sox organization battled through numerous one-year extensions to keep the slugger in Boston. After voicing considerable frustration with his contract each and every year, Ortiz finally received a two-year extension from Ben Cherington and the Red Sox during the 2012 off-season.
To the despair of many, the Red Sox believed that Ortiz was worth $26 million dollars despite playing in just 90 games in 2012 due to an Achilles injury.
Since signing his two-year extension, not only has Ortiz led the way for the Red Sox offense in 2013, but has also enjoyed one of his best seasons to date at the age of 37.
Through 128 games, the Red Sox lead all of the majors with 637 runs. Leading the Red Sox in all major offensive categories, Ortiz has tallied a .323 batting average, 24 home runs, 78 RBIs, and a .985 OPS in 105 games. Ortiz has also enjoyed a strong start to the second half of the season, hitting .336 since the All-Star break.
For an iconic figure like Ortiz, pride has always been of great focus. Never would Ortiz want to finish his career in Boston in a dwindling and diminishing fashion.
Instead, Ortiz has once again come through in the clutch. Like any great player, Ortiz has elevated his game and has come through for the Red Sox during the franchise’s most critical years in recent history.
While there is plenty of baseball ahead for Ortiz and his two-year extension, he has quieted many of his critics here in 2013.