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David Ortiz isn’t concerned how absence will impact offseason

08.23.12 at 9:42 pm ET
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Has David Ortiz‘€™ absence helped, or hurt, his value heading into the offseason? The debate is an interesting one.

On one hand, potential offseason suitors may look at the Achilles tendon injury suffered by Ortiz as a sign age has begun to creep up on the 36-year-old.

Then again, there is the reality of how the Red Sox lineup has struggled without Ortiz since he hit the disabled list July 17. Heading into Thursday night, the Sox were 13-21 without the DH, with a .713 OPS (19th in the majors).

‘€œAll I can control right now is to do my job,’€ said Ortiz, who might be activated Friday. ‘€œThe offseason negotiations, things like that, it will take care of itself. Trust me, they won’€™t be talking [expletive] about me if I’€™m hitting. Every time some criticism comes up about myself it’€™s because I’€™m killing the ball. I like it. When I stop listening to people talk [expletive] about the DH, then I get worried. Meanwhile I’€™m not worried about that [expletive].’€

Injury aside, Ortiz understands the continued uncertainty regarding how teams will view the designated hitter position.

Despite Ortiz’€™ absence, the Red Sox still lead all American League teams with an .884 OPS at the DH position, with the Yankees, Royals, Blue Jays and Angels serving as the next best. Among the leading teams, the Royals (Billy Butler), Blue Jays (Edwin Encarnacion) and Angels (Kendrys Morales) join the Sox in having full-time designated hitters, with the Yankees rotating players into the spot.

‘€œIf you’ve noticed all they’ve been talking about with the DH position since I’ve been banging. They didn’t used to talk about the DH position like they do now,’€ Ortiz said. ‘€œThey had great DHs way before me. You never heard anybody criticizing DHs. Now they do. The way I see it is people only criticize good things. They never criticize things that are going to call people’s attention. We had tons of DHs before myself was even born, and I never heard anybody talking [expletive] about DHs. But now because there’s a guy performing at the highest level and doing his thing, and because of why he’s doing it he has to be paid, now you’re going to criticize.

‘€œIn this game when you are capable to do what I do, that’s a plus. I don’t care what anybody says. It’s a plus. It’s hard to hit a damn baseball. Harder than what anybody can imagine. If you put two, three David Ortiz in your lineup you’re going to have some results. I guarantee that.”

Considering the Red Sox are 21st in the majors in runs during Ortiz’€™ absence, it would — regardless of any offseason ramifications for the players — behoove the Sox to get their DH back in the lineup.

‘€œThat’s what everybody is looking for right now,” he said. “They don’t care if you’re a catcher, first base, DH, whatever. If you can produce, trust me, you’re going to play.’€

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