It’s official: David Ortiz is f–king ridiculous.
Not that this wasn’t pretty much accepted fact before last night’s heroics. Before His Royal Badness thumped a game-winning, three-run home run into the centerfield seats, stirring all of New England into a frenzy and solidifying his position among the eight wonders of the universe (placing him somewhere between Tony Danza’s appeal and Shakira’s ass). Before he reminded us all of one of the primary reasons the Sox own the deed to the second best record in all of baseball. The guy is just profoundly awesome, and there is no single person you’d rather see holding a bat when one swing is all that separates you from the outhouse or the penthouse.
The thing that I find bizarre is that opposing teams still pitch to him when the game is on the line. I mean, I’m sure there’s the sport of it all; everyone loves a challenge and most pitchers would relish the chance to snuff the inferno that is Big Papi. But when Ortiz stepped to the plate last night, everyone in the free world knew that he was going yard. I knew it. You knew it. Your neighbor’s wife knew it. The guy down the street who steals your newspaper knew it. Your dog knew it. Your sideburns knew it. Everyone except Eric Wedge, who opted to not give the man a pass, and promptly found himself back in the clubhouse, poking at some stale roast beef with a plastic fork.
This is Papi’s world. Le Monde du Papi. We only exist to marvel at his home run prowess. His ability to reduce grown men to tears and remove even the most intricate of bra straps with just a wink and a smile. When all seems lost, he carries us across flaming rivers, molten lava and the Toronto Blue Jays. And he won’t stop. Cause he can’t stop.
Take a moment to reflect on how Better Living Through David Ortiz has made a difference in your Tuesday morning. Had the last at-bat of the ninth belonged to, say, Doug “Now That I’m Your Full-TIme Catcher I Have a List of Demands” Mirabelli, there’s a good chance the game slips through our fingers. You’d be sitting at a desk in your cubicle right now. Staring at a wall or blank screen. Worried that your Sox are slip sliding away, having lost two in a row. You’d probably be thinking of the day’s trading activity as well, and how we failed to bag a Clemens or Soriano. And you’d notice how much closer the Yankees were getting. And even “Thong Day” in the accounting department can’t nullify such intensely bad vibes.
But God created Papi. And he was there to lift us up, to bring it all home dramatic-style. So now, all we can think about, all we wanna talk about, is that glorious three run home run. The way Don Orsillo slipped into full Kermit the Frog mode to announce “He’s done it again! He’s done it again!” The way the Indians shuffled off the field, quietly, as 35,000 people went apeshit all around them. The crowd of teammates around the plate, welcoming the conquering hero.
And if anyone gets to share the crown, it’s Kyle Snyder, who got tossed into this whirlwind and somehow managed to put out the fire, keeping it all within striking distance and enabling Papi’s heroics.
Nixon’s out? We’ll press on. We may even point to last night as the birth of “L’il Papi” as Wily Mo seemed to be catching lightning. Tek out? Er… some extra at-bats by Mirabelli, painful as they will be, won’t kill us. At least not immediately.
But so long as David Ortiz remains healthy, I’m keeping October free on my calendar. I suggest you do the same.