Despite all the celebrations and ceremonies, the pomp and circumstance, if you will, David “Big Papi” Ortiz is making sure this year isn’t a distraction for him. If that wasn’t already incredibly obvious by the way he’s playing this year, given that he has great numbers for any player, and record-setting numbers for a retiring player.
As a fan of the team, I am very grateful that he’s performed so incredibly well. There are a lot of players who have had poor showings in their final seasons in recent memory, but not our boy. Not Big Papi. The best part? Definitely giving him (and the team) a shot at the postseason and another World Series Championship. Imagine if he left finished his career by playing his final game earning a Championship. That’s the stuff of Bill Russell, the stuff of Legends.
Winning a Championship and riding off into the sunset; I can’t think of a better way to end a career. The only way to make it even better would be winning an MVP or 2 along the way! With the laser-like focus that Ortiz has had, it seems that could be a definite possibility. I think the thing we all need to appreciate is the fact that he’s doing this as a 40-year old, who is finishing up his career, yet he isn’t thinking about a beach somewhere. He isn’t wondering what he could be doing outside of baseball. Right now? It’s all about the game, the fans and winning.
Can the Red Sox win a Title this year? Definitely. Will it depend (at least a bit) on how Big Papi plays? Absolutely. Of course, there are a few other teams that stand in the way, and all of them are vying for the same thing. But just think of how perfect this would be: Bottom of the 9th, Game 7 of the World Series. Red Sox down by 1 run with Dustin Pedroia (or anyone else) standing on second after a double to left. Big Papi steps into the batters box, waits on a few nasty breaking balls. After the count is run full (because drama), Ortiz gets a fastball belt high and on the inner half. He swings, connects and drives a home run ball to the red seat in the right field bleachers!
That would be (almost) too perfect. I think a sweep would be even more fitting, or winning in 6 games to win in front of the home town team would be awesome but any season that ends in a Title is about as good as it gets. Obviously, there are 2 other series to play. Those can’t be skipped or assumed to become victories. Ortiz is focused on that. Each series, each game, each at bat. He doesn’t care for the distractions, and he doesn’t need to hear about how great he’s playing. He knows, but he’s not about to let that affect anything other than racking up the hits, homers, and RBI. And wins. Definitely the wins. Big Papi’s career is ending no matter what happens. Let’s just enjoy the last few days.