Ortiz's mind not on impending retirement

Famed Red Sox slugger: Final spring debut felt like 'just another game'

Ortiz's mind not on impending retirement

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As David Ortiz made his Grapefruit League debut on Friday for the Red Sox, you could call it the soft launch to his final Major League season.

But Ortiz is too immersed in getting ready for the 162-game grind (plus the hoped-for postseason) to start smelling the roses. After an 0-for-3 performance in a 7-2 win over the Rays, Ortiz said it felt like "just another Spring Training game."

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At some point, maybe the finality of a stellar playing career will sink in. But that is months down the road.

"I haven't sat down and thought about any of it," Ortiz said. "Probably by August, I'll start thinking about it."

He plans on putting up big numbers once again in 2016.

"That's what everybody's looking for, right?" Ortiz said.

The Red Sox haven't noticed anything different in Ortiz's demeanor or focus this spring compared to others.

"I know what David wants," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "David wants two things. For us to win is one. And for him to personally leave something behind for the young players. You see that come to life daily with the conversations he has and the way he interacts with his teammates, so I would think in return that there's motivation for all of us to do well."

During pregame batting practice, Ortiz shared a few words about Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski, who had an emotional retirement tour back in 1983.

"It's always great talking to Yaz," Ortiz said. "Yaz is a person who has a lot of confidence, and you want to always listen to those legendary people and see what they have to say."

Did Yaz give Ortiz any retirement advice?

"No, no -- nobody has given me any advice about that," Ortiz said.

Perhaps that's because Ortiz is still living very much in the moment.

"He doesn't look like he's a guy ready to shut it down to me, I can tell you that," Farrell said. "You watch the BP, you watch the ball come off the bat, you watch his work. All have been very consistent."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.