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Red Sox are ready to roll

pap1275.jpgI’ve always said that it’s not how you start a season, but how you finish it, and here we are in the playoffs again. It feels good, man. The playoffs to me are something where I try not to put too much pressure on myself. I just try to play the game.

Everyone is back at zero now. Every player and team that is in the playoffs, they start at zero again. I don’t know if every player thinks of it that way, and that’s why they might have a hard time in the playoffs. If you had a great regular season and if you carry that to the playoffs and think everything is going to be the same, sometimes it doesn’t work. It’s different in the playoffs. Everybody is different, and you just have to be prepared for that.

I can’t wait to get out there for Game 1 here at Anaheim on Thursday night. You know how I am, I like to get things over with. The playoffs, it’s something where not too many people are out there playing. There’s only eight teams here. You get here, you know you’re only a couple of steps away from the World Series. I know how sweet it is to be in the World Series. Not just being in it, but winning it all. It’s a great thing. That’s my goal.

The last couple of days, we’ve had our workouts here on the field, and you can’t help but watch the games being televised on the scoreboard. That Tigers-Twins one-game playoff yesterday was amazing. Today, we were watching the Yankees and Minnesota. Of course that gets you more excited to get out there. It gets your mindset there to where you want to get out there and start competing.

This started out as a tough season for me, but I finished strong. Everything that happened in the past, that’s already taken care of. A guy like me, when I struggle, it’s harder than for another guy because I have too many people that care about me and expect me to do well. They care about me, but they started driving me crazy. One day, I just said, forget about it. I turned off my phone and was just going to go and play the game like you did in Little League and not worry about stuff. Just go out there and hack.

None of it matters now. I had a good last four months of the season and here we are, playing the Angels again. It seems like we play them every year. We’ve beaten them three times in the playoffs before, but this is a whole different team than what we’ve faced in the past. They’ve got power, speed, good pitching. Great defense. They do everything. We’ve got to play well to beat them.

You get out there in the playoffs and the one thing that’s different from what we’re used to all year is that there’s no tomorrow. Like I always say, it’s ride or die time. You’ve got to go and play your best because if they catch you sleeping, you know where you’re going to be — you’re going to be watching at home. We don’t want to be there, trust me.

We throw Jon Lester for Game 1 and we feel great about that. He got it done for us all year long. He’s one of our aces. It’s time to get this going and see how we do. We feel good as a team and we’re ready to get October started again. 

Celebrating the Wild Card

OrtizDrew_275.jpgWe got our chance to celebrate a good season as a team a few days ago. It was great. We played a good game here, almost had a great comeback and lost, but then had to wait and see what Texas did out in Anaheim. Once they lost, the party was on.

Even though we lost that night, what matters is that we played well through the year, so that’s why we were celebrating. It’s
not all about one game. It’s about all the 162 games that you play to be the one of the teams celebrating going to the playoffs.

Of course, you’d rather win and clinch it yourself, but when it happens, you have to take it, no matter what. Everybody on the team, pretty much, was there. It was great.

Now, it’s almost time for the playoffs. The whole world is watching you. When you have everyone watching you, there’s a lot of excitement, a lot of adrenaline going on. You want to get the best out of it.

You talk about the pressure of the playoffs and all that, but I don’t really think about it, because that’s when you start getting nervous and putting pressure on yourself.

We’re playing the Angels. Man, it seems like we play them every year, but whatever it takes. That’s how it is. They played the best in their division, and we had a tough fight for ours, but we’ll go in as the Wild Card. We won the World Series before as the Wild Card, so the key is just getting there.

It’s funny that we keep playing the Angels because Vladimir Guerrero is one of my best friends. I’d love to see him move on in the playoffs and play in the next round, but I can’t feel that way when he’s playing against us. You’re trying to win as many games as you can, as fast as you can, and I feel bad for him because he’s my friend, and we beat him the last couple of years, but that’s how it goes. I’ve got not just him, but Torii Hunter is another great friend. That’s my boy right there. We go way back to when we were in Minnesota together. It’s crazy.

Our team — we’re faced with a really good situation. We had some rough series with the Yankees and the Blue Jays lately, but things happen, and guys know how to figure things out. Now, we’re coming up to the biggest time of year.

Looking forward to October

250_ortizhomer.jpgI think we go through a lot of things during the year, but this is the time of year you love. You want to play in October. I was talking to Melvin Mora when we were playing Baltimore, and he told me, “You guys look like you’re ready go to go the playoffs.” He told me he would like to have that feeling.

It’s just a different feeling you have this time of year. You can feel the cool breeze, and you know October is on the way. A lot of people at this time of year, they’re worn out, they’re ready for vacation. I’ve been in the postseason tons of times, and it’s fun. This time, I’m thinking about postseason. I’m planning my vacation for the end of November or December. Deep down inside, I don’t want my vacation to start before that.

I remember in 2006, we didn’t make it to the playoffs, and I felt like I had too much time off. It was like, “Jeez, what should I do now? I’m supposed to be playing now.” Then, I watched the games on TV, and it wasn’t a good feeling. Not everybody gets prepared to be playing in October, but this ballclub gets prepared to be playing in October.

We’ve made some moves the last couple of months that are going to help us get where we want to go. Alex Gonzalez played here before; he knows what our goals are. Victor Martinez, this is his first time playing here, but he faced us in 2007 in the playoffs. He knows what this team is capable of doing. Their mentalityis just easy for them to make the adjustment here. They have an idea of what’s up.

Those guys, they bring a lot of energy and that hunger. They’re ready to play. Victor said to me, “I was so close to getting a ring, and you guys just kicked my butt. But now, when you can’t beat the enemy, you join them, so that’s why I’m here.”

Victor keeps me going during the game. Oh, yeah. He’ll be screaming at me, he will punch me. He’ll do whatever it takes.

By the way, everyone should check out my new restaurant in Framingham, Mass., Big Papi’s Grille. I go there when I can, and it seems like people have fun, people like the food. Man, I’m telling you, it’s really good. We have everything over there: seafood, steaks, all kinds of salads and appetizers. We’re adding things every couple of weeks, and people love it. Stop by!

Last time I was there, I hung out with some friends for three or four hours, and it was a good time. You might bump into me and my friends any time.

Feeling good at the plate

Ortiz.jpg

Hi to everybody out there.

Welcome to my new blog, and my new website, DavidOrtiz.com.

Why start a Web site now? The main reason is because I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff going on off the field, and I think this would be a great way for the fans to connect with me directly rather than just going somewhere else that’s not focused on what I want to do.

I think that by having my own Web site, people can see whatever I’ve got going on and hopefully decide whether to get involved, whether it be a link to my charity, the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, a new commercial or endorsement deal, or updates on my charity golf classic.

Fans can also hear what’s on my mind when it comes to myself, the team and what might be going on around the league.

Things have been clicking for me at the plate lately, and I feel good. As for earlier in the year, when I was having a tough time, as I always say, sometimes there are things that people don’t get to see that bother you and gets you out of the way you’re used to. Sometimes, it can be personal stuff or other things. I’m a guy who doesn’t like to relate my personal life to how I’m going in the game, but we are human. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much you try. You can’t avoid that.

The good thing now is I feel good — I’m back. I’m the kind of guy who a lot of people count on, and I’ve got to try to keep it that way.

The first two months, I had a lot of ups and downs, and then there was just one day when I started to feel good, and I hit it good, and I had bad results. Now, I’m putting good swings on the ball, and I’m getting my hits. Even on those bad days now, I’ll take a bad swing, but I’ll still produce. Things even up.

We have the All-Star break coming up next week, and this is the first time in awhile I’ve actually had it off. Don’t get me wrong, it was great making the All-Star team the last five years. I had a great time. But maybe it will help to shut it down and think about what went wrong for me to not be there.

This year, the game is in a National League park, and the Red Sox spoke to me early in the season about the ballot. I told them I agreed that Youk should be the first baseman on the ballot. He’s the guy that’s been playing first for us for the past few years, and he’s doing a great job. I’ve been honored by the fans voting me on in the past, but I think it would have just been wrong to not have him on the ballot as the first baseman. That wouldn’t have been fair. Youk has been great for us this season, and I’m happy he will be representing us at the game this year.

Also congrats to my other teammates who made the team: Bay, Dustin, Papelbon, Josh and Wake.

As a designated hitter, I would have been chosen as a reserve if I had a good season, as has happened in the past. I know the first couple of months of the season were tough for me, so I wasn’t even expecting to be at the All-Star Game this year. I’m just going to chill out with the family and do things I haven’t had a chance to do the last five years. I knew my family was getting used to being at the All-Star Game, and that was a fun time. It’s an experience. But now, I’ll just hang out, refresh and get ready for a great second half.

We have a lot to feel good about at the All-Star break. This is a good team. We’ve been winning games and building something good around here. We saw it before in 2004 and 2007 where you just chip away and next thing you know, you’re fighting for a championship.

This team the past five years has been all about chemistry, and we still have it. We’re still rolling the same way like always.

Welcome to my new blog!

I’m in the middle of another exciting season with a Red Sox team that is headed right for the playoffs again, and while I continue to find my swing at the plate, I’m also happy to announce the launch of my new blog here at davidortiz.mlblogs.com.

I have also just launched my new official website, DavidOrtiz.com, where you can visit to check out my new product offerings, some featured Q&As, lots of video, photo galleries and more.

Check back throughout the season on both my new site and my blog for updates from me … and see what I’m up to in the offseason too!

Talk to you soon …