David Ortiz: Red Sox in 'beast mode,' J.D. Martinez a psychopath as defense of title begins

John Tomase
March 03, 2019 - 12:18 pm
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David Ortiz wanted to bust some balls in the time-honored tradition of pregame stretching, but it turns out class was in session.

The all-time Red Sox great visited Fort Myers on Saturday in his role as advisor or special assistant or whatever honorary title the team has bestowed upon him, and what he saw was a club hungry to repeat.

"They are in that beast mode where it's beautiful," he told reporters, including WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. "I love seeing that. Because I know how they feed each other with information and how to get better. I was making fun of them because while they were stretching, I was going to go (BS) with them and I take a couple of steps and I was like, let me just listen to what they talk about. They talk about nothing but hitting. They talk about nothing but hitting. I remember before while you were stretching, you'd mess around, talk trash. These guys are locked in. I was standing up right there just listening to the conversations for about half an hour. Didn't say anything. They were talking about mechanics, hands, how to approach and this and that. What that tells you is that these guys, they're not trying to miss a beat. They're not trying to waste their time. They're in the first week of spring training and you look at what the conversation is, you know what I'm saying?"

Ortiz credits slugger J.D. Martinez, who did his best Ortiz impression by hitting .330 with 43 homers and 130 RBIs last year.

"I've got to give it to J.D., man, J.D. is like the center … the mother hen, he's the one who everybody is like getting feed from, you know what I'm saying because he's a psychopath," Ortiz said. "This dude is on another level of being good and wanting to be better. That's one thing I enjoy the most when I'm around here is just watching the way he handles himself and the way he helps the rest of the squad, you know what I'm saying? And like I say, that's what makes a difference year after year after year. We missed a J.D. Martinez in 2017. Then you have him in 2018 and you see what happened."

Ortiz believes the Red Sox are putting themselves in the proper frame of mind to repeat.

"These kids are acting like they finished the season in last place last year," he said. "I love that because that means they're still hungry, they want more and they will not get nothing but better and better and better. I'm happy with what I see, dog, to be honest with you."

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