FORT MYERS, Fla. -- No. 34 has room to grow into his uniform.
But that would be 6-year-old D’Angelo Ortiz, the first member of his family to make it to the batting cages Thursday morning -- ahead of his famous father, who helped his son into his ensemble, complete with the cap that says "L’il Papi" on the side.
David Ortiz, the father of three (he also has daughters ages 14 and 10), on Thursday began his 19th season in pro ball, 15th-most in the major leagues. Ortiz, who turns 36 in November, was asked how long he would like to play.
“I’d like to play until I get to 45, something like that,’’ Ortiz said with a laugh, invoking a target retirement date that would make him one year older than knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. “I don’t know, that’s something your body will tell you, how you feel through the years. I feel really good right now. I worked out this offseason really good. My body feels the same. As [long] as you can play the game, you’re going to try, right?
“Every year is a challenge because you don’t get any younger. I don’t feel I’m [Jose] Iglesias' age  right now, you know what I’m saying? That doesn’t mean you got to be out of the game just because you’re not 20 anymore. Through the years, you get experience. The thing you’ve got to worry about is to get to know your body, what your body is capable of doing, maintain yourself, try to stay healthy and use your experience.’’