BOSTON (CBS) – While the rest of the Boston Red Sox will actually be using their four-day All-Star break as an actual break, designated hitter David Ortiz will head to Kansas City as the team’s lone representative.
“It’s one of those years that things go down like that,” Ortiz told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche from the Boston locker room Sunday. “Hopefully next year, everyone goes as a group.”
Used to sending at least a handful of All-Stars, Ortiz is Boston’s lone star in this year’s mid-summer classic. It’s the first time since 2001 the Red Sox have just one All Star on the AL roster.
Ortiz On All-Star Game Part 1:
After hitting the break with 22 home runs, 57 RBI and a .312 average – all of which lead the Red Sox – Ortiz has certainly earned his spot. He will be the starting DH as the American League tries to end a two-year skid and clinch home field advantage in the World Series.
It will be Ortiz’ eighth All-Star game appearance, and suiting up for the AL has never gotten old.
“It’s just appreciation to the fans for picking me up,” said Ortiz, who received nearly 2.4 million votes from fans this year. “I’m just getting ready to get out there and put on a good show for the fans.”
“When I went to my first one I wanted to really talk to everybody and get to know the little things, talk to everybody,” Ortiz recalled, now an All-Star veteran. “Now I see the newcomers and they approach it the same way I did. It never gets old; everybody gets excited going to the All-Star game.”
And Ortiz doesn’t see it as an anti-climactic game, especially with home field advantage on the line.
“Yeah it’s very important,” he said. “15-20 minutes before the game starts you see everyone getting pumped up, ready to win the game and make sure the American League starts at home.”
Usually a lock for the home run derby, and even the captain of the AL team last year, Ortiz has opted to sit out Monday night’s event.
“I’m just going to watch the young kids do their thing,” he said. “It gets you tired. It takes a lot of energy away from you. I enjoy doing it, but I figured after I did it last year it was time to move on.”
Ortiz On All-Star Game Part 2:
The Red Sox hit the break at 43-43, tied for last place in the AL East but two and a half games back of the second wild card spot. Boston opens the second half of the season with three against the Rays, and are expected to get injured stars Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz back. Left fielder Carl Crawford is not far behind either, which has Ortiz confident the Sox can make some noise going forward.
“It’s going to be interesting to see those guys coming back, to see how we can turn some things around here,” said Ortiz.
But, at least for a couple of days, Ortiz will be focused on clinching home field advantage in October.
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