Retired Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz says that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has many years left in his career.
Former Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz has two things in common with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady – winning championships and playing the game into their 40’s.
As two of Boston’s biggest sports icons of this era, Ortiz and Brady have crossed paths many times over the years and still occasionally keep in touch to this day. While Brady has never specifically asked him for retirement advice, Big Papi knows what he’d tell him if the topic ever came up.
Ortiz revealed his thoughts on the matter during an appearance on WEEI at Foxwoods as part of the Red Sox Winter Weekend event.
“I have to give a call to Tom, and I would be like, ‘Bro, don’t go anywhere because you have no pain,” said Ortiz.
One of the best statistical seasons of Ortiz’ career was also his last at the age of 40. He hit .315 with 38 home runs while leading the league with 48 doubles, 127 RBI, a .620 SLG, and a 1.021 OPS. Ortiz won his seventh Silver Slugger and finished sixth on the MVP ballot while leading the Red Sox to an AL East division title in 2016 before riding off into the sunset.
He didn’t hang up his cleats because he was washed up. Ortiz retired because he could no longer endure the constant pain in his legs and feet. The routine he went through everyday to prepare for games was exhausting.
Brady doesn’t have the same concerns. He takes care of his body as well as any athlete we’ve ever seen. Brady’s infamous TB12 Method, which emphasizes eating healthy and pliability, has kept the 41-year old in peak condition. He’s mentioned on several occasions that he believes he can keep playing into his mid-40’s, an age that seems unfathomable by the standards of most professional athletes. Yet we should know by now never to doubt Brady.
Ortiz certainly has no doubts, stating that Brady has “many years to go still” in his career.
“Let’s keep one thing in mind. This guy takes care of himself better than anybody I have ever seen,” said Ortiz. “The way this guy eats, they way he gets prepared, they way he physically takes care of himself.”
Brady will lead his Patriots into Kansas City on Sunday to face the Chiefs in the AFC Championship. It’s New England’s eighth consecutive appearance in the Conference Championship, setting an NFL record.
Ortiz and Brady are two of the rare marvels who have remained at the top of their game after turning 40. Big Papi could have kept producing for at least another year or two if his body hadn’t betrayed him. Brady shows no signs of slowing down and should keep going as long as he’s still productive and healthy. The day will inevitably come when Brady’s body tells him it’s over but we’re not there yet. This day is about beating the Chiefs to return to the Super Bowl, seeking a sixth championship ring.
According to Ortiz, that’s exactly what will happen. Not only does he predict the Patriots will win tonight, but “it’s over” after that. Ortiz sees the Chiefs as the team to beat, so if the Pats can win in their house then a Super Bowl victory is a foregone conclusion in his mind. Let’s hope he’s right. I certainly wouldn’t bet against Brady, no matter how old he is.
Brady isn’t going to retire yet but his star tight end has been contemplating the idea. Rob Gronkowski has battled through a long list of injuries throughout his career that have taken a toll and sapped some of the explosiveness we’re used to seeing from him. If Ortiz is still handing out retirement advice, maybe he should call his old Dunkin Donuts buddy.