David Ortiz is not concerned about slumping after he participates in home run derby Monday night.
“I swing out of my butt every time anyway,” said Ortiz who has participated three other times. “It’s not new to me. There are two different swings. My swing is different than Robinson Cano’s swing. Cano has the one swing – level. My swing is more upper cut so when you talk about a guy like me or Cano in home run derby, who will suffer some bad habits second half of season after the home run derby? I have to go with Cano. A guy like Ryan Howard or Prince Fielder or myself – [Albert] Pujols, he doesn’t have the upper cut swing. If you see him hit the ball out of the park – it’s line drives.”
Cano bowed out of the derby because of a lower back soreness. Ryan Howard and Josh Hamilton both went into major slumps after participating in the derby.
Ortiz, sporting a pair of black-beaded, diamond-studded sun glasses, quipped that he doesn’t know who will pitch to him tonight. The Sox’ top BP pitcher, Ino Guerrero “is in the Dominican killing Presidentes [beer]” kidded Ortiz.
Ortiz said of Home Run Derby, “I think it’s fun. Even when I don’t participate I have tons of fun. When we normally take batting practice I don’t always swing as hard as I can. I hit the ball the other way or up the middle. In Home Run Derby you have to swing 100 percent every swing. It wears you out.”
Ortiz said he’s never felt sore after the Home Run Derby, but “really tired. What kills me in Home Run derby is I start good, but then when I have to stop and start over again it’s tough to get going again. It’s like you start a car in winter, you get to a place, you stop the car and then you go inside and you come back out it’s cold. It takes a minute to warm up.”
Ortiz said he normally takes 200 swings a day as a player between cage work, BP and the games, and in between at-bat swings. He figures you take 70 swings in Home Run Derby, though all of them are at full force.