David Ortiz: Today’s version of Major League Baseball ‘straight-up boring’
David Ortiz has some serious issues with modern-era Major League Baseball, and the outspoken former slugger isn’t shy about expressing them.
The three-time World Series champion, 10-time All-Star and one-time World Series MVP offered up his blisteringly negative take on how baseball is played in today’s MLB in an interview this week with Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
In essence, Big Papi finds modern-day baseball “boring” because it’s all strikeouts and home runs with not much else in between.
“To me it’s messed up,” Big Papi said during a lengthy conversation from his home in Miami. “The game has changed a lot. Coaches only want kids to hit home runs and that’s all they practice because they want to get paid.
“We used to want to develop great hitters. Now it’s all strikeouts with some home runs and it’s straight-up [expletive] boring. If you could bet in Vegas that the next hitter was going to strike out, you’d take it every time.”
Ortiz, it merits noting, struck out 1,750 times in his 20-year career, but also hit 541 home runs while drawing 1,319 walks. The iconic Red Sox slugger even made note of how striking out too often across a season irked him throughout his career.
“I struck out 100 times a few times in my career and I was [upset],” Ortiz said. “Now everybody does it. I see kids now taking BP and all they work on is running into a home run. Everybody is swinging out of their a–.
“It’s not good for the game. If there’s a runner on first, you want to use that hole and hit the ball to right field. Then the runner has the opportunity to go to third and can score on an out or even a wild pitch. That’s how I was taught to play.
Ortiz joins a long list of former players, in baseball and otherwise, who dig deep into the “In My Day” narrative and curmudgeonly proclaim how the era they played in was far superior to the product put forth in today’s game.
Put plainly, Ortiz’s “In My Day” rant against baseball in the “modern era” — after all, Big Papi only retired in 2016 — is somewhat expected. Old timers across all sports tend to romanticize things while reminiscing about the halcyon days of old when the game was played “better.”
That being said, Ortiz’s rose-colored glasses-tinged recollection of baseball during his heyday while bemoaning the status of today’s game would have no shortage of supporters, even from those who still count themselves as fans of today’s home-run-or-else version of baseball.