Big Papi Won’t Participate in Home Run Derby if Asked
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz is playing it safe by going public with his decision to not participate in the Home Run Derby during MLB’s All Star Game festivities. Ortiz has participated in the competition before and even won it all in 2010.
In an interview with WEEI.com he said that he wouldn’t compete if captain Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees picked him. Cano has the power to pick who will bat in the Home Run Derby because he was named captain of the American League squad.
“I can’t do it no more. I can’t even do it in batting practice,” Ortiz said. “Watch me in batting practice, I might lose a couple of balls but that’s it. I can’t do it. It wears me out. Wears me out. And you know the Home Run Derby can be taken lightly. You have to be young with a lot of energy.”
Former Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez participated in the 2011 contest and it seemed to cost him afterward. Then-hitting coach Dave Magadan stated that the Derby messed with Gonzalez’s swing, and with his swing slightly off-kilter, the team’s offense suffered.
Ortiz has already won the competition and currently leads all competitors with 77 total home runs in the history of the competition. Regardless, I’m sure Red Sox Nation would prefer more regular season wins over a Home Run Derby title any day of the week.