There’s no doubt that Lew Ford can still play. The bigger question is, as it has been for the last few years, does he want to? And, admittedly, he isn’t sure.
“I have thought about it and I don’t know,” Ford, 41, said before the start of the week’s Liberty Division Championship Series between the Ducks and Somerset Patriots. “I’m kind of torn. I really want to play again next year. We’ll just see what happens between now and the beginning of next year.”
Ford batted third in Saturday night’s Game 4 at T.D Ballpark, a potential series-clinching matchup for the Ducks.
For the first time since 2012, Ford actually will have an offseason. A a baseball-lifer, Ford has played winter ball throughout most of his Ducks tenure, looking to keep his game sharp and find his way back to affiliated ball.
But, the big leagues hasn’t happened since he played with the Orioles in 2012 and, instead of his usual winter time south of the border, Ford intends to spend time with his family in Central Islip.
“I need some time to see if I want to do it again,” said Ford, who is in his eighth season with the Ducks. “Right now, I’m playing. The desire to play is there and is strong. But, after going home, you spend time with the family and you’re doing other things, it dies down a little bit. We’ll see if I want to get back out there after a couple of months with the family.”
Ford, who battled a hamstring injury for most of last season, rejoined the Ducks in late May after taking some time off to try and recuperate from the injury. He hit .269 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs in 76 games this season. He played a crucial factor in the first games of the playoff series against Somerset, making an error in leftfield that led to two runs in the Ducks’ Game 1 loss Wednesday and knocking in the first run of both of The Ducks’ Game 2 and Game 3 wins.
Ford, who played with the Ducks during both of their last two championship seasons in 2012 and 2013, said winning a title might influence his decision on whether or not to walk away.
“You always have that memory of going out on top,” he said. “I’m sure that’s what every player or manager wants, to win. It would be kind of like [former Ducks] Ray Navarrete did. To win at the end of your career and go out on top would be a great way to end it.”