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Ortiz has been productive in other facets of the game—he ranks among the AL’s top 10 in on-base percentage and slugging and, with a .320 average, is on pace to shatter his previous career best of .301—but his power struggles, caused at least in part by season-long leg woes, have tested his confidence and typically cheery demeanor.
But he was in a good mood Saturday, when he said he wasn’t concerned about his home run total and spoke of how pleased he is with his improved batting average. “I’m trying to do my thing, I’m not even going to worry about home runs,” Ortiz said. “You’re not talking about a guy that hit 50 home runs last year but this year is not hitting home runs and [is] hitting .200. Now you’d be like ‘OK, there’s something really bad going on around here.’
“But one thing I’ve really been working [on is] I feel like I can hit for a better average. In the off-season I sat down and talked to my dad [and said] ‘You know what, dad? This year I want to see if I can hit for average bet
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