Papi not puffing his chest out after hot April

Papi not puffing his chest out after hot April

Papi not puffing his chest out after hot April
BOSTON -- After a torrid month that was in complete contrast to the miserable starts David Ortiz experienced in 2009 and '10, it was natural to wonder if this was the best April of Big Papi's career.

It all depends on how you look at it. If the barometer is batting average, it wasn't even close. Ortiz hit .405 last month, topping his previous high of .309 in 2001 by nearly 100 points.

However, Ortiz is more interested in production numbers, and this wasn't quite his best in that regard.

In 2006, Ortiz belted 10 homers, four more than this April. But his 20 RBIs from '06 were the same as this year. Ortiz's best April in the RBI department was '07, when he drove in 22.

If you want to go by OPS, the stat often used to determine best overall performance, Ortiz's 1.184 this April is a career high. There are only two other months -- '06 and '07 -- when Ortiz had an April OPS over 1.000.

Ortiz will leave those debates for others.

Much like Ortiz told people to stop panicking during those dreadful starts of 2009 and '10, he isn't about to puff his chest out over a big start this year.

"I always say it doesn't matter what you do in April, it matters what you do in September," Ortiz said. "I'm just going to keep on playing and try to keep winning."

Ortiz does enjoy showing people he can still produce at an elite level at the age of 36.

"Especially at my age, people are thinking the opposite, that you're getting older. Sometimes you can age like wine," Ortiz said. "I just thank God for keeping me healthy and giving me the opportunity to come back and perform and help the ballclub, one way or the other. It's not over. We still have five months."

With Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford both on the disabled list, Ortiz's hot start was well timed.

"He's been the most consistent and consistently powerful and dynamic member of our offense," said manager Bobby Valentine. "Very, very consistent."