June 2010

Hanging tough

We keep getting injuries, and that’s not good, but we’re still getting it done. I’ll tell you one thing — I can’t wait until my boy Pedey comes back. You know why? Because he won’t stop talking in the dugout, that’s why. He is talking a lot of trash, just screaming, that’s what we have to deal with now. You know I’m just kidding, Pedey! I hope he gets back soon. We’re going to miss him.

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It’s unbelievable, though, to go through all this stuff at once. After Pedey got hurt Friday, Clay Buchholz went out with that knee injury Saturday and then Victor Martinez took the foul ball off his thumb on Sunday. How often do you see injuries come up like this at the same time? We have to go through that every year but we don’t need that right now, you know what I’m saying?

But like I said, we’re putting it together. We’ve got no choice. You saw our bullpen that day in San Francisco when Buchholz got hurt. They went out and gave us eight great innings and we won. That was a total team effort. You can see everybody is trying to do something.

I’ll tell you one thing, too. I’m glad we’re done with Interleague. I was able to hit a home run in that water on Sunday in San Francisco, and you know I wanted to hit that water bad. But it’s not easy stepping in against a guy like Tim Lincecum after not playing for two days in a row.

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I wasn’t feeling the way I like to feel. Let me tell you something. When you don’t play for two days and then go against one of the best pitchers in the game, that’s not the way you want to go out there. But you’ve just got to go out and try your best, so I was glad it worked out.

Lincecum didn’t have his best stuff, but his delivery is funky. He might not have the velocity he used to, but you can still feel that explosion. When he used to throw 95 or 96, that had to be crazy.

This week, we faced not just Lincecum, but Ubaldo Jimenez. Those are two of the best guys out there. We got to both of them, which says a lot about our team. What can you do? You have no other options but to bring your “A” game  game and try your best.

I can put my glove back in storage for a while. But I had to use it this week, and that’s fine. I’m down with whatever. It’s not what you want to really do, because you’re not really used to it. But just go out there and have fun and try your best. Everybody knows you’re not out there every day, so I was saying to people early in the week, “Keep me in your prayers!”.

It’s hard when you’re not out there on defense every day. But I don’t put any of that on myself. When I got out there, it’s just to have fun and not try to worry about things. If you question yourself, you’ll make it worse.

Anyway, we’ll get back to the American League now. We’ll take a day off on Monday and then take it back to the house and play Tampa Bay.

As we get within a couple of weeks of the All-Star break, I feel great this year. I worked hard in the winter. I’ll just keep on working, and keep on hitting.

A big month and hopefully, more in store

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It was nice to hear on Wednesday that I got the American League’s Player of the Month Award for May. That’s good stuff, real good stuff. I’m just going to continue doing that and try to get a few more.

What’s really nice is that both the Player and Pitcher of the Month came from our team. Jon Lester did a great job, too. He was awesome. He’s been pitching his butt off. Like I said, we’re going to try to continue it, because it makes a huge difference, him pitching like that and me hitting the way I was. Of course, with the support of all our teammates and fans, it makes it even better.

The team and I were kind of in the same situation in April, both struggling. So this kind of tells me that when I get it going, good things happen.

The stats say that this past month I had the best combination of average and power I’ve had in a long time. The average thing isn’t a huge deal to me. Of course, everyone wants to hit for average, but in my case, it’s a little bit of craziness, because what I fight for my average is hitting the ball down in the hole like any left-handed power hitter. They have that shift on, and if you take the 10, 15 balls in the hole away from me, there’s not going to be average showing up.

I worry about my average, but I don’t really worry about it. I should be hitting .300 now, but it ain’t like that. I’m producing, getting some RBIs, hitting some homers, that’s part of my game, too, and that’s one thing I try to increase.

The month of May started well right away for me. I had two homers on May 1 in Baltimore. Like I always say, hits bring confidence. It doesn’t matter how hard you work or how great you feel. If you don’t get hits, you feel like you didn’t get it done. One good night gives you a chance to have another good night. Or maybe one good night gives you a chance to battle a bad night and come back with another good night, and that’s how it goes.

Last week was about a lot more than baseball for me. I had my Eat n’ Greet at Big Papi’s Grille on May 27, raising money for my foundation, which helps kids in need of critical care. As I’ve talked about a lot before in this space and other places, that cause means so much to me.

Then, the next day, it was something different altogether. I flew to New York to pay respects to my good friend Jose Lima, who died recently. Man, he was 37 years old. That really hit me hard.

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He was a happy person. He brought a lot of happiness away from others when he died. When I saw him in that casket, I was like, ‘We ain’t nothing.’ That’s a man full of life and happiness and the next thing you know, 37-year-old, massive heart attack. That hit home.

I’m a huge believer in what God has for us. You have to live by that rule. If you try and change it, it’s not going to work. When I got back from that, it just made me think, “I’ve got to love life.” I see people complaining about stupid things. That’s why I try not to change my personality.

The day he died, it really hit me. We were in Philly that day. Ask the guys. I was destroyed that day. I couldn’t believe this. That’s my boy, man. That’s my dude. That’s my dog right there. When I found about that, you start thinking about all the things we did together, all the good times. I don’t remember being around him one day where he didn’t make me laugh. Not one day. That’s why I’m telling you when I saw him, I had a 20-minute highlight in my head. I saw his kids, his wife, his family, everything.

I knew him for more than 14 years. We played on the same winter ball team. RIP to my good friend Jose.

Just to let you know, I’ll be part of another event on June 12. I partnered with my good friends at the Four Seasons over on Boylston for the Run of Hope. They always support my efforts, so I had the David Ortiz Children’s Fund partner together with them on this fundraiser to help support a good cause. I will kick off the children’s 50-yard “Fun Run” at 10 a.m. There will be a 5K run at 10:30 and the 2K walk at 10:35. Everyone should try to get involved. It’s a great cause.

You can find out more about the event at FourSeasonsRunofHope.com. And to learn more about the David Ortiz  Children’s Fund, go to DavidOrtizChildrensFund.org.