a blog by Schoolboy Jew
A farewell letter to the one and only David Ortiz..
When you announced on November 18 that you were retiring after this season, I had mixed feelings. As a baseball fan, I was saddened by the news. But as a Tigers fan, I got so happy I almost cried. You see, David, I hate you so much. You just seem so hell bent on destroying the Tigers at any chance you get. I’m not even just referring to your horrible performance in the 2013 ALCS, it is also the fact that you just take every regular season game against my Tigers as a chance to put on a hitting clinic.
Let’s start with 2005 shall we? It was a year after you and your group of “idiots” as Johnny Damon dubbed your crew broke that damn curse. I was just nine years old, and on the peak of starting to fall in love with the game of baseball. My dad and I were enjoying a rare excellent performance by Tigers’ pitching (we weren’t always a great team) when you decided to come to the plate in the late innings of what was looking like a Tigers’ win. I will never forget what my dad said when you came up to the plate with one out in the top of the ninth, trailing by one. “Watch this guy, Leo. He has sneaky power.” Well, you must have heard him because you thought it would be great for me to see you send the next pitch deep into the night and halfway up the bleachers to tie the game and give Fernando Rodney a blown save. Oh, but was that enough? Of course not. In the tenth inning, you guys scored seven runs. Seven freaking runs! Who does that? You also hit a three run dinger that inning, so it’s almost all on your shoulders. That is where my terrible luck with you began.
We move ahead now to 2010, at a game where I am sitting in the front row with my best friend Jack. 2010 was a funny year for you. You hit .270 and still made it to the All Star Game. If you were on the Tigers, you wouldn’t have had a chance at the All Star Team. At the time of May 14, 2010(the day of the game I’m referring to), you were hitting .213. Nice numbers, Papi. Anyways, it didn’t take long for you to make your typical dramatic impact on the game. Six batters into the game and you had a three run dinger. Not only did you hit it, but as usual, you made that pitch your bitch and launched it. Fast forward to the top of the fourth. It’s five to one, you really don’t need to make it worse. But in typical Big Papi fashion, you hit a bomb to deep center for a two run homer. Man, you love to piss me off, don’t you David?
This now brings me to the most painful baseball memory that I have, and probably one of your favorites. 2013 was the Tigers’ year. We had it all. Solid hitting, sharp starting pitching, and a shutdown bullpen. After all these years of destroying us, you didn’t even do very well in the 2013 ALCS. You went two for twenty two. 2 for 22? I know hot dog vendors at Fenway who can hit better than that. But of course, you had one hit that I still have nightmares about. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning of game two, (after Max Scherzer had dominated and only given up five hits through seven innings), you came up with the bases loaded. All I could think of was the very worst possibility and next thing you know, a hanging changeup from Joaquín Benoit was sent over the right field wall, and you sent my hopes right into the toilet. That should have been the Tigers in the World Series stomping the Cardinals and taking home the trophy and the rings.
David, the Detroit Tigers and I will not miss your big bat and clutch hitting. But as a baseball fan, I will miss your class and humility, and how you always played the game with a mix of swagger and style. I will miss the way you showed people how even though you are a big man, you can make baseball seem like a kids game. Farewell, David. Enjoy your retirement, because I know us Tigers’ fans definitely well.
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