David Ortiz sure knows how to go out with a bang.
It’s hard to believe that in 2008/2009 some (a much younger me included) were thinking that the big slugger’s career may be ovah. Instead he has roared to life with a third act that The Force Awakens would be envious of. Papi isn’t just having a “oh that’s nice for him to produce because he’s 40” or a “let’s pretend he’s a lot better than he is because it’s his last year” season. No, Ortiz is having a “hot damn, why is he retiring?????” season.
Seriously, how many times have we seen a player go out limping like a contestant in a three-legged race. Papi on the other hand is not pulling the sympathy or nastolgia card, he is taking on the MLB in full force putting up legendary numbers.
So far through 51 games Papi is hitting at a .340/.424/.733 clip–he’s had a higher OBP before, but his BA and OPS are career highs by a wide margin. Not only that, but Ortiz has slugged 14 homers while driving in a league-leading 53 runs as he is on pace for a 35+ 140+ RBI season which would be on par with his 2004-2007 production.
In fact, I’ll be so bold to say that this season may rival his 2007 campaign where Papi hit .332 while smacking 35 homers and driving in 117. Wouldn’t it be something if he broke through it entirely?
While it’s tempting to say he should stay one more year (or 10) with the Sox, the fact of the matter is that Ortiz is giving us one last hurrah, a great show from the greatest DH of all time, and frankly this may be all that’s left in the tank. Papi is just over 40 years old, constantly in pain, and giving the city of Boston a season to outshine all others for us to hang our hats on.
I will say this, Ortiz will be sorely missed. He’s putting on a show to steal all shows, the performance of a lifetime, and we are fortunate to be treated to front row seats. Soak it in Red Sox nation, soak in ever last pitch because Big Papi is marching his way to legend status and hopefully the Hall of Fame.