David Ortiz

David Ortiz's father comes to Red Sox' designated hitter's rescue

Rob Bradford
June 03, 2015 - 7:46 pm

When Enrique Ortiz called his son from the Dominican Republic Tuesday morning, David Ortiz didn't know what to make of it. Enrique was phoning his son to let David know he was on his way to Boston later that afternoon. Why? "He just wanted to check up on his boy," David explained. For the first time in his son's professional career, Enrique thought it was necessary to pay a visit to David out of concern. The Red Sox DH had been struggling, and his father could feel the pain all the way from the D.R. "The man has been watching me play baseball since I was a kid," David said after notching a pair of doubles in the Red Sox' 6-3 win over the Twins Wednesday afternoon. "All of a sudden he just jumped on an airplane and come and checked up on his boy. You never finish growing for your parents. He'€™s hearing people say I was done so he was worried about me. He'€™s not worrying about what people were saying, but he was just worrying about how I was doing." Enrique was a visitor in the Red Sox' clubhouse prior to the first game of the Red Sox' doubleheader against the Twins. His son responded to the visit with doubles in his first two at-bats, with the Minnesota infield shift taking away a potential single up the middle during the DH's third plate appearance. "It'€™s always special to play in front of my dad," David said. "My dad watches pretty much all my games. If there is a person that I like to play the game for, it'€™s him because he encourages me to do this and he knows how serious I am about my game. It'€™s just a dad and his son type of thing. "He keeps me straight mentally. That'€™s what he does. Sometimes he comes and lets me know what type of players in case I forgot." After going a combined 2-for-7 during the Red Sox' doubleheader with Minnesota, Ortiz is hitting .227 with an OPS of .694. Since taking two games off last week, however, the DH has found some consistency at the plate, hitting .316 with an .824 OPS over five games. Judging by his comments Tuesday, the younger Ortiz is ready to take the support of his father, and the analysis of his critics, as ample motivation going forward. "You know what, whenever people want to talk about hitting I just want to slap it in their face because hitting is tough," he said. "I'€™ve been swinging my ass off the past week just hitting rockets right at people, but nobody is talking about that. They just talk about me hitting .220, me not doing this or that. You come and hit. Whatever people say, [expletive]. I'€™m just going to keep swinging."