David Ortiz told WEEI.com Wednesday that he will not participate in the Home Run Derby at this year's All-Star Game if asked.
"No, man. Last year was it for me," Ortiz said. "I can be the captain if they want me again, but I won't participate. I'll just be cheering for the guys."
Ortiz has participated in the Home Run Derby five times, winning the contest in 2010. Last season the Red Sox designated hitter captained the American League group.
"You can't be 36 to do that," he said. "There's no 36-year-old who can keep up with that." When asked if 2011 was more exhausting than the previous year in Anaheim, when he won the contest with 32 total home runs, he said that was the case. When asked why, his response was, "I was younger, [in '10]."
Ortiz did emphasize that the reason he wouldn't be participating wasn't because he believed the event would alter his swing for the season's second half.
"Trust me, if you're a power-hitter, that will not affect your swing. That's an excuse," he said. "In batting practice we try to hit line-drives, but there you have to put everything you have in every swing. But if you're a power-hitter that's what you try to do in a game. Now, line-drive guys who just happen to be hitting for power that year, that can affect them, no question."
Ortiz, who hit his 12th home run Wednesday night in the Red Sox' 6-4 win over the Tigers, is tied with Jose Bautista for having the fifth-most homers in the American League this season. He is also knotted up with Josh Hamilton for the most extra-base hits (30) in the AL.
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