BOSTON (CBS) — Respect is king for David Ortiz, and after he was not named to the American League All-Star Team, the larger-than-life designated hitter was quick to heap praise on the players who did make the roster.
The nine-time All-Star was left off this year’s team by manager John Farrell, a decision Ortiz said he is ultimately OK with.
“All-Star Game is something that you’ve got a lot of choices, and there are a lot of guys doing really well,” Ortiz said. “Me and John, we had a conversation, and I’m a big fan of guys that have a really, really good first half making it to the All-Star Game. And there’s a couple of guys ahead of me this year at my position.”
At 38 years old, Ortiz ranks second among DHs with 19 homers and with 55 RBIs is tied in that department with former teammate Victor Martinez, who has 21 homers for Detroit. Ortiz’s .854 OPS ranks a full 137 points behind Martinez’s .991, and Ortiz noted that Martinez, along with Edwin Encarnacion (.959 OPS) and Nelson Cruz (.938 OPS), are having years that warrant spots on the All-Star team.
Ortiz did make it seem as if Farrell offered him the opportunity.
“We had the conversation, and he asked me how I feel about it, and I’m like hey, I just don’t feel like taking those guys’ places. I don’t think it’s fair. You’ve got guys like Nelson Cruz and Victor and Encarnacion having unbelievable seasons, and they don’t have as many All-Star Games as I have. So you just keep it real. They’re having better seasons than what I’m having, and they’re well-deserving.”
Farrell spoke Sunday about the difficulty in leaving Ortiz off the roster.
“Well, there were a couple of conversations that led up to the selection of it. When you start to look at those who have been voted in both by the fans and the players, then you kind of get a stack of guys at each position. And then I had a chance to talk with David and felt like the four days of rest might be more advantageous to him, and he was a pro about it. He spoke his mind and really had a lot of input into the decision.”
After establishing himself as one of the game’s premiere power hitters in 2003, Ortiz made the All-Star team in nine of the 10 seasons that followed. Prior to this season, the only year in which he was left off the roster was in 2009, when he was hitting just .222 with 12 homers at the All-Star break.
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