David Ortiz hoping for solid start

February, 22, 2010
2/22/10
3:19
PM ET
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Ortiz is drawing confidence from his strong finish last year, the worst of his seven seasons with the Red Sox.

Boston's designated hitter reported to spring training Monday and said people gave up on him after his terrible start in 2009. Through June 5 he was batting .188 with one homer. After that he hit .266, led the AL with 27 home runs and tied for the league lead with 78 RBIs.

"Hopefully everything will start up different," Ortiz said. "I'm not a beginning guy. I'll tell you that right now. I'm an end of the season guy."

Ortiz said he's strong enough to deal with the criticism that accompanied his slump and he gets confidence from his solid comeback.

He described his struggles as a "nightmare" that persisted even when he was awake.

ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes and the Associated Press contributed to this report. Edes will have much more from Ortiz posted shortly.

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