- Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports
It’s normally obvious why professional athletes decide to retire, particularly in baseball, when they often lose the ability to hit the ball.
But Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz seems to be an outlier, namely because he keeps hitting the ball at an alarming rate, despite announcing that he’ll retire after this year.
Ortiz’s performance this season is statistically better in various categories than any of his previous 19 seasons.
One of the many things he keeps doing is murdering baseballs, as evidenced by his 24 home runs:
He also smashed a ball so hard in batting practice that it got stuck in the netting on the Pesky Pole.
— #VoteRedSox (@RedSox) July 21, 2016
At 40 years old, Ortiz has still got it.
However, it’s Big Papi’s other stats that have gotten people talking about his farewell season. For instance, the race for top OPS isn’t even close, with Ortiz leading the pack with an OPS of 1.096 and the next closest being last year’s AL MVP Josh Donaldson with an OPS of just 1.020. To put that into further perspective, the 1.096 OPS is way better than Ortiz’s career high of 1.066, which came in 2007.
CSNNE.com points out that, “What Ortiz is doing – 79 RBIs in 87 games – is extraordinary.He’s on pace for one of his greatest seasons, period. But the fact that he’s doing at 40, and in his final season, is all the more remarkable.”
Simply put, his performance over the past four months has been ridiculously good, borderline-historic. And, as CSNNE.com points out, he has over two months to add to his astonishing numbers. At this rate, with the Red Sox firmly in the playoff race, Ortiz could be looking at capping off his historic career with an AL MVP.