Big Papi and Coco
Just a great day for the Red Sox to be able to lock up Big Papi through at least 2010. Let me first say that I’ve enjoyed covering David Ortiz probably more than any other athlete during my sportswriting career. I remember vividly Ortiz showing up in Fort Myers as a guy who was going to platoon with Jeremy Giambi back in the spring of 2003! Ortiz was a great guy then, and he still is now.
Success changes almost every athlete. It’s only natural. I can honestly say that Ortiz is the same humble guy now that he was three years ago. If anything, success has made him a happier and even more approachable person. I can’t remember seeing anyone enjoy the limelight quite as much as this guy has. He’s embraced the pressure cooker, which explains why his October of 2004 has to be the most magical postseason put forth by any player in the history of the Red Sox. His sense of humor, as I’ve displayed in this blog a couple of times already, is a daily fixture in that clubhouse.
If you mention any player who is with the Red Sox now, or with Ortiz at any time during his career in Boston, he will refer to that person as "my boy". This guy likes everyone, and I’ve never seen anyone who didn’t like him. There is no better "face" of the Red Sox going forward than this guy. Oh yeah, and he also happens to be the best clutch hitter in the game. If anyone wants to bring another name to the table, I’d love to hear it.
So needless to say, it was a bittersweet Monday leading into Tuesday’s Fenway Opener. Ortiz is here to stay, but Coco Crisp is on the shelf for a few weeks at least. It will be a big loss, but this is also a great time to see what Adam Stern can do. it seems like he’s been on a high ever since he returned from the World Baseball Classic. I’m curious to see what he will do on an everyday basis.
Beckett tomorrow in front of the home crowd. It’s supposed to be a gorgeous day. I’m looking forward to it. I bet Ortiz brings down the house during pregame introductions.